Last week, while The Bloomsburg Daily editorial staff was on winter break, Bob Rush set out to capture images of the Tail Waggin’ Tutors in action. The Tail Waggin’ Tutors program is offered through Therapy Dogs International (TDI). In this program, certified therapy dogs and their trainers were brought to Lisa Keller’s 6th grade at Bloomsburg Middle School so her students can read to them. It proved to be an excellent way to encourage students to read and to show them that reading can be fun. The dogs are non-judgmental so the kids can feel comfortable to build a relationship with the trainers who serve as tutors, snuggle up with the dogs, and practice reading all at the same time.
One of the students actually told Ms. Keller about the program based on her participation in it at the Catawissa Lutheran Church. To have them come to her class, all she had to do was email TDI, and the volunteers came out of the woodwork!
She is now offering the program on Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the rest of the school year. The tutors are available at different times each week, and some can only come in once or twice a month. All of Ms. Keller’s Title I students in 6-8 grades are participating in the program, as well as the entire 6th grade class. All students need to do is get a permission slip signed by their parents to participate in the program.