Reading to dogs maintains skill among school kids

August 11th, 2011 - 5:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 11 (IANS) School kids who read out aloud to dogs during the summer break seemed to improve their reading skills.

Veterinary researchers from Tufts University in the US paired school second-graders with dogs or people and asked to read aloud to them for 30 minutes every week in 2010 summer.

When the programme ended, students who read to the dogs improved their reading ability and changed their attitudes toward reading, according to a university statement.

The reading ability was measured on the curriculum-based measurement and elementary reading attitude survey respectively, while those who read to people experienced a decrease on both measures.

Another surprising result was the high rate of attrition among students in the control group. A third failed to complete the programme. No students left the dog-reading group.

Students in the dog group read to canines enrolled in the Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) Programme by a non-profit organisation that encourages children to read through the use of therapy animals and runs programmes at a public library.

“The R.E.A.D. programme remains very popular among students in the local community, and we look forward to finding out more answers as the programme continues,” said Lisa Freeman, study co-author from the university.

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