Gifford is grateful to have TWO active and supportive Reading Dog Therapy TEAMS in our building. Research supports the efficacy of dogs that listen to children for encouraging and developing confident and motivated readers (LeRoux, Schwatz & Swart, 2014; Shaw, 2013). Both canine therapists and their partner(s) have passed a rigorous test assessment for qualification and certification through Therapy Dogs International. These listening friends will patiently attend to individual student readers or small groups.
Julia Scantling’s team, Autumn Joy, a Golden Retriever, and Jackie, a German shepherd, have been volunteering at Gifford Elementary for more than five years. Autumn Joy started on her own, and two years ago Jackie was able to join her. They love coming to Gifford and listening to students read because they learn so much! Last year they learned about snakes, but they especially love books about dogs. You may find them at the Racine Public Library in their free-time.
Jan Trossen and KC, a Golden Doodle, have been volunteering at Gifford for more than two years. KC is a gentle soul who relaxes and listens patiently to student readers. She loves children so much that when her reading time is over, she doesn’t want to leave! KC loves listening to books about dog behavior, autobiographies and mysteries. In KC’s free-time you might find her visiting folks at Ridgewood.