Bill and Ruby introduce a ‘paw’fect program at St Brigid’s

During Term 3, St Brigid’s Primary School, Raymond Terrace, welcomed into their school community a special learning companion, Bill Learmouth and his Rhodesian Ridgeback, Ruby.

Bill and Ruby have introduced the BaRK program (Building Reading confidence for Kids). This involves working with children who are sometimes uncomfortable reading aloud.

Selected children have been given a weekly opportunity to have some fun by reading to Ruby in a nonthreatening and relaxed atmosphere.

As well as improving their reading self-confidence, the children have also developed social skills, respect for animals and a more relaxed attitude toward learning, resulting in better concentration on their school work.

Ruby the reading dog has enjoyed her time at St Brigid’s so far reporting, “I have been attending St Brigid's for five weeks as a volunteer with my owner Bill.”

“I am learning to be a reading dog and I am so lucky to have this opportunity. My new special friends are not only reading with confidence but also learning dog handling skills, connecting my leash and allowing me to escort them back to the Year 5 classrooms.”

“I have also started working in the library during lunch breaks and everybody is so friendly,” barked Ruby.

The BaRK program is now a favourite amongst students at St Brigid’s and we look forward to seeing Bill and Ruby again soon.

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