STORY Dogs is a unique national charity that brings trained and accredited dogs and handlers into Year 2 and 3 primary school rooms where students read to the dogs, increasing their literacy and self-confidence.
Friday, May 7, is National Story Dogs Day, the charity’s major fundraising event.
It is a WOOF Day – Wear Orange On Friday when Story Dogs schools across the country turn orange and donate to the canine cause.
Story Dogs managing director Janine Sigley said 2019 NAPLAN results for Year 3 reading show that over 12 per cent of children are at or below the National Minimum Standard.
“Our goal is to be helping 5000 children by the end of 2022,” Janine said.
“If you take out a Story Dogs subscription to donate $4 every week, you can fund one-on-one reading sessions for one child for an entire year.
“We are halfway there but need help to fund and place more dog teams.
“We have over 50 schools on our waiting list, but we need the public’s help to fund and place more Dog Teams.”
Janine said it’s been tough for Story Dogs last year because of COVID, but now the children are back at school, they are looking forward to having more reading sessions.
With the lingering impact from COVID-19 and a growing backlog of schools on the waiting list, the charity needs public support more than ever to help struggling children with their reading.
The charity was kept afloat through 2020 by Job Keeper payments and a new major sponsor.
A Story Dogs volunteer dog team of a dog and its owner visit the school weekly.
The team works with the same four or five students chosen by the classroom teacher.
Each pupil individually spends 20 minutes with the dog team in a space outside of the classroom.
To minimise classroom disruptions, the dog does not come inside unless invited.
To register for a WOOF Story Dogs event, go to storydogs.org.au/woof-for- story-dogs
Story and image source: storydogs.org.au
Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities and currently works at Redkite, a childhood cancer charity.