UPSTATE – An Easley woman is offering a unique way of assisting children with their reading.
Megan Giordani’s program “TailWaggin’ Tutors” offer children a chance to practice and improve their reading by reading to Giordani’s dog Ziya.
The free program is offered through Therapy Dogs International, which evaluates and certifies dogs to be therapy dogs.
“My dog is a certified therapy dog through Therapy Dogs International,” Giordani said.
She said she’s seen the “Tail Waggin’ Tutor” program greatly benefit children.
“It helps with their reading skills, just having the dog there,” Giordani said.
She said reading to the dog also helps kids with their blood pressure and stress levels.
The program has been known to improve reading scores, Giordani said.
She said the program is open to “any kid.”
“Kids who are struggling with reading, kids who are learning to read and want to increase their reading kills, high school kids who want to keep reading during the summer,” Giordani said. “Maybe parents are looking for ways to keep reading fun for their children. It’s not only for kids who those kids who are having trouble reading.”
Reading to the dog gives kids a chance to read in a judgement-free environment, Giordani said.
“If they’re embarrassed to read at school with their peers, here they don’t have to worry about anyone judging them,” she said. “It’s just practice – practice by reading to dogs.”
She is offering “Tail Waggin’ Tutor” in 30-minute sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays
from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
The sessions can be reduced or increased, Giordani said.
“It can be adjusted once we see how it goes,” she said. “You don’t want the child to get too tired of reading.”
During the sessions, Giordani said she’ll be “a silent partner.”
“I’ll just be listening, watching the interaction between the dog and the child,” she said. “I’m not going to be correcting mistakes or anything like that.”
But if a parent requests that Giordani help by correcting certain things, she’ll be happy to do so, she said.
“It’s geared to help their self-confidence,” Giordani said.
Interacting with the dog could help a child in their interactions with people, she said.
“It may bring them out more,” she said. “They learn patience.”
Helping a child with their reading pays off everyday
“If a child has trouble reading, that affects science, math, everything, as well,” Giordani said.
The program is being sponsored by Upper Cervical Spine Center and is being held in Taylors.
Giordani said Therapy Dogs International will assist her in finding volunteers to expand the program if demand is high.
Her goal is to make more people aware about the free program.
“I hope we have a great turnout and need more volunteers,” she said.
To contact Giordani about the program, email her at email@example.com. For more information on the “Tail Waggin’ Tutors” progam, visit upstatereading.blogspot.com.