Reading with Rover comes to Eagle Creek

Volunteer Annemarie Kaighin, left, and Hank, center, read with student Jordan Montgomery. - Courtesy Photo
Volunteer Annemarie Kaighin, left, and Hank, center, read with student Jordan Montgomery.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

ARLINGTON — Reading with Rover is an exciting new program being used at Eagle Creek Elementary School.

The community-based volunteer program brings certified therapy dogs and their handlers into schools, libraries and bookstores allowing children an opportunity to practice reading aloud.

The Reading for Rover program and its affiliates throughout the country have had great success using the program to become more confident in their reading skills. The trainers and dogs working at Eagle Creek Elementary have been trained in the Redmond-Woodinville area and go to several schools in Snohomish and King counties. The training certification is good for two years and then the dogs need to be recertified.

Cory Timm, an Arlington school teacher, learned about the program through her graduate work in literacy at Western Washington University. She was excited about the prospects of offering this opportunity to the district’s elementary students.

When asked, third-grader K.C. Green said, “I feel special being part of the program since there aren’t very many kids in it yet. I makes me want to read more and buy more books at the book fair.”

Several of the children are now reading to their pets at home as well. Timm hopes the program will expand to additional schools in the district next year.

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