Making the Grade: Reading Dogs

Once a week, first and second graders at a New Hampshire school look forward to a visit from a four-legged reading companion that's helping them build confidence.

Macs, a seven-year-old Cockapoo that loves children's books, is a registered Education Assistance Dog (READ).

"He sits here and listens and I am like wow, I've never seen a dog that does that before," said Laura Balzano, a second grader at St. Joseph's School in Salem.

Macs spends one day a week inside St. Joseph's, encouraging students to practice reading. His owner, Blaire McCarthy, says as a registered therapy dog, Macs is a perfect reading buddy: He's not judgmental, he listens attentively, and helps the kids build confidence.

"I think I am really good at reading when I pet him and it makes me feel really good," Laura said.

McCarthy said she's seen a significant improvement in the kids' reading skills and self-esteem over the last two months.

"They're starting to get more interested in reading, which is one of the things I was hoping," said McCarthy.

Macs' next adventure starts May 16. He'll be at the Windham Public Library at least once a week for a summer reading program.

There are thousands of READ teams working in classrooms all around the world. If you're interested in the volunteer opportunity, click here:
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