After nine weeks of the reading program, Ms. Paulus invited students to Stop, “PAWS” and Read in their classrooms with some special guests – 12 therapy dogs and their handlers from the Moore County Therapy Dogs organization.
First a group photo, then the 12 teams made their way to 12 different classrooms to visit with students in grades K-5. Once there, they visited with the students, read a pet-themed book (chosen by Ms. Paulus, the school’s teacher/librarian) to the students and then answered questions about their pet and what it means to be a “therapy” dog: Therapy dogs are trained to respond to all the people that ask to meet them and they bring love and comfort to many people.
Moore County Therapy Dogs provide joy and comfort to people experiencing emotional pain and struggles. It might be through helping a child become more comfortable facing challenges in learning how to read and understand passages, sitting with someone who is struggling with physical or emotional pain, or just simply by being there. The therapy dogs make a difference in lives – a difference that cannot be fully measured, except by smiles and hugs.
The Moore County Therapy Dog teams are part of the Moore County Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC). They support the PRC in its work to bring a Pet Responsibility Program to over 1,000 fourth graders in Moore County, where one of the most important things the students learn is the importance of being a responsible pet owner.
More information about the therapy dog program itself can be found at https://mcprc.org/outreach-programs/reading-tails/
The handlers meet on a quarterly basis to exchange ideas and discuss the different environments they visit with their dogs. The next meeting is on November 30th. Call 910-949-9953 for more details.