Reading Buddy King was so excited this morning to enter the doors of Kelly School in Holyoke, Massachusetts. This is a familiar place for King. He and his sister Lily participated in the Tails to Read Program at the school last year and loved it.
Due to shifts in staffing, the person previously in charge of the program at the school was no longer in that position. A new person needed to be identified. Three weeks ago, I received an email stating that the program was ready to start up and would King, Lily and I like to participate again. I quickly made shifts in my schedule to enable us to volunteer in this valuable program. As they did last year, King and Lily will be alternating weeks. The kids love working with both dogs.
Our day is Tuesday. Today, King got to meet the three third graders he and Lily have been assigned for the remainder of the school year. I love the way the program is run at Kelly School. By working with the same three students every week, we get to see the progress they make by reading one-on-one to their Bright Spot Reading Buddy Dog. As each child becomes relaxed and comfortable reading aloud to his Reading Buddy, his confidence builds and improvement in reading skills follows. As a former teacher, I love experiencing the transformation each child goes through as they look forward to reading aloud each week to the dog.
In my mind, the Kelly School is a jewel. It’s such a happy place. The staff and parent volunteers are friendly and welcoming. I can’t help but feel uplifted when we’re there.
The dogs and I feel right at home each time we enter the door. And, of course, everybody at the school loves the dogs. What a special place for children to go to school! We are happy to be a part of this exceptional learning experience.