CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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Case Study on ‘Reading with Dogs’ – Speyside High School

The following case study was provided by Jérémie Fernandes, Librarian, Speyside High School 

Speyside High School in Aberlour is the first secondary school in Scotland to roll out the new Reading With Dogs programme.

The project is designed to help children improve their literacy skills by offering them the chance to read aloud in front of a four-legged friend.

This project was developed by the Support for Learning department and the Library. We identified the need to support our most vulnerable in their effort to improve their literacy. We had heard of Therapets but we wanted something to do something a bit different : we wanted to focus on literacy, rather than just stress relief. We contacted Canine Concern Scotland to help the recruit volunteers for this project.

The library is very much involved in this project, we develop a collection that suits the needs of the pupils taking part of the project and we source books that are relevant to their reading levels and interests.

“I thought it sounded a bit odd, and I didn’t know how it would be able to help me, but it’s made me more confident in reading. When you’re reading to Brodie [the dog], no-one can interrupt you, and I didn’t feel like I was under pressure reading.”

S2 pupil

“The dogs make them more relaxed, they are already less hesitant in their reading and we are just a few weeks in.”

Deidre, Head of Support For Learning