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Puppies teach students to read

By Staff | Jun 17, 2011

It’s puppy love for a Renn kindergarten student and a special stuffed animal at the conclusion of the Puppy Love Reading Night at Ashkar Elementary.

HUGHESVILLE – Puppy Love Reading Night was held at the Ashkar Elementary School in Hughesville recently. The East Lycoming School District Elementary Title 1 staff organized the event, inviting nine therapy dogs that listened intently while students read to them. The students rotated between rooms, having the opportunity to read to more than one dog.

Representatives from Eagles’ Wings Service Dogs, Inc. presented the program using service dogs that have been trained to provide assistance to individuals with disabilities. Eagles’ Wings Service Dogs, Inc. is a local non-profit organization that trains dogs for mobility impaired persons.

Two owners, Gabriel Brown, a Penn College Student from Loyalsock, and Charles “Chuck” Miller, of Duboistown, talked to the students and their families about their service dogs and the special relationships they both have with their dogs, Einstein, and Andy. Each demonstrated specific skills the dogs learned to help them with daily tasks. Examples included taking socks off, picking up the paper from the porch, helping with the laundry, picking up the TV remote, opening up the refrigerator, and picking up other small items. Gabriel told the students that because his dog is only two years old, Einstein is still puppy-like in many ways.

At the end of the evening, refreshments were provided for all in attendance, and each child took home a book, as well as, a stuffed dog as a reading buddy.