Over the last 18 months a cocker spaniel named Dora has become a valued part of the school community at Wayland Academy Norfolk, helping students to improve their reading confidence as a weekly reading companion through the Pets As Therapy Read2Dogs programme.
The initiative has made a real difference in supporting students to become more confident readers, and now students and staff at the Academy have said their own thank you to Dora and Pets As Therapy by raising £350 for the charity.
Different groups of students from across the Academy got involved through fundraising events within school that included a non-uniform day and coffee and cake mornings.
Dora and her owner, Pets As Therapy volunteer Sue Kay, were among those present as students handed over their cheque.
Students in the Special Educational Needs department at the Academy are continuing to benefit from the weekly reading sessions – and there are now plans to utilise Pets As Therapy dogs to help other students too.
On Friday 13th May, 10 Pets As Therapy dogs will be coming into the Academy to provide Year 11 students with a welcome break from revision, through short stress-reducing sessions, a few days before the start of their GCSE exams.
Debbie Blundell, Assistant to the SEND Co-ordinator at Wayland Academy Norfolk, said:
“Dora’s visits to the Academy have brought so much pleasure, and tangible benefits to our students through the reading sessions, and so we wanted to give something back to Pets As Therapy. We’re really looking forward to doing more with the charity in the future, particularly around exams time when the Pets As Therapy dogs will be on hand to to provide a calming influence for our students during this key period.”
Pets As Therapy is keen to encourage more dog owners to become volunteers for the Read2Dogs programme. For more information, please contact the Pets As Therapy on 01494 569130 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictured (L-R): Wendy Jones (Pets As Therapy volunteer), Jack Nicholls, Ellie Lynch, Glen Allott (Wayland Academy Norfolk principal), Heidi Collins, Jay Osborne, Sue Kay (Pets As Therapy volunteer), Carole Adam (Pets As Therapy Volunteer Area Coordinator and dog assessor).