Poor Lily has been posed to go to the Kelly School for the past three weeks, but inclement weather causing school closings has delayed her start.
King managed to visit once after the reading buddy program started up again at the Kelly School in January. He and I met the three third graders we would be working with for the remainder of the school year. But, Lily had not yet met them.
No worries about the weather today – a gorgeous sunny, blue-skied winter’s day with heaps of white fluffy snow piled high along the cleared and sanded road – we were off by 8:10 for our 40 minutes drive to the school.
Lily was excited when she saw me preparing her reading bag and taking her Bright Spot therapy dog vest off the hook in the coatroom. Today was her day to finally meet the three readers she and King share, alternating weeks. She looked especially lovely today because she had a bath and trim on the weekend in preparation.
The folks at the Kelly School know Lily well. She was a Reading Buddy dog there last year. Luck had it that a few of her readers from last year were passing by in the hallway and had a chance to say hi. Lily is in her element working with kids. She loves her job as a Reading Buddy dog. She adores the attention she gets – not just from the kids, but from staff throughout the school who come to the school’s foyer at check-in to hug her and pet her.
Lily is a veteran Reading Buddy dog. She has been honing the skills it takes to do this type of work for three years now.
She has volunteered in three elementary schools, as well as The Eric Carle Museum Reading Buddy Program held during February and April school vacations and during the summer on Monday afternoons in July and August.
Lily didn’t miss a beat as each new reader came into the school library with a pile of books to read to her.
Most of the time she lies down on her Reading Buddy bed, faces the reader, and listens. Sometimes she closes her eyes as she listens. Other times, she looks right at the pictures as the story is being read aloud. When a reader is finished, he gets to spend a few minutes brushing Lily – she carries her brush in her pack because she knows that the kids love to brush her. If there’s time, they get to read Lily’s special book titled MEET LILY AND HER PALS. Each of Lily’s readers got one of her special bookmarks with her picture to take home. Next time will be King’s turn, but he’ll have to wait two more weeks. It’s school vacation next week!