We are about to trial a new initiative to assist eight fortunate Toorak students with their literacy development. We are lucky to have secured two volunteers from Storydogs, a volunteer organisation run nationally which sends volunteers and dogs into primary schools. Students can interact with and read to the dogs in a fun, relaxing and non-judgemental environment with positive impacts on their learning. For full details about this innovative scheme, including videos and photos, please see their website at http://www.storydogs.org.au
The participating dogs are all rigorously temperament tested. Our volunteers will be Stephen and Ferris and Nora and Beau. Both dogs are Labradors. You may see them in their smart orange Storydogs jackets walking around the school with their handlers on Monday mornings throughout the year. We will also try to have them feature on the school news.
Many Bayside schools are already using their services in Victoria. There may be a chance to expand the program in future so an increased number of students can benefit. We are intending to hold a school fund raiser to support the program later this year. Parental consent forms for the eight candidates nominated for the program are currently being sent home. We are excited about this new program and will keep you posted on progress and developments