Kids reading with therapy dogs

Students in Ishpeming Township received a boost of confidence in their ability to read this afternoon, and it came from dogs.

SuperiorLand Pet Partners visited second-graders at Aspen Ridge School. The group trains and certifies therapy dog teams to visit hospitals, schools and other locations.

One of their programs involves children improving their reading skills by reading aloud to the dogs. The students can sometimes experience vast improvement in their reading ability in just 10 to 15 minutes.

“We had one little boy, when he started the program, I did not know he had a problem at all,” SuperiorLand Pet Partners member Julie Hosang said. “He read with this most amazing speaking voice — he should be in public broadcast — and his teacher came running down the hall and said, ‘I had not heard his voice’, and she grabbed his little hands and said, ‘if you would just pretend in school that you’re reading to Toby (one of the therapy dogs) instead of stuttering and whispering’, and here it was January, and she had not heard this magnificent voice this young man had.”

This is the third year that SuperiorLand Pet Partners has visited Aspen Ridge School. They’ve also held similar programs at Marquette’s Peter White Public Library and Northern Michigan University this year.