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Your morning adorable: Reading dogs help some kids learn

July 15, 2009 | 12:15 pm

Reading dog

Submitter EricnEnzo shares this great photo of a dog who seems just as enthralled with a book as his young owner does. (Plus, he makes a good pillow.)  And, according to some teachers, reading in the presence of a dog actually helps children to improve their reading skills and comprehension. 

As a result, "reading dog" programs are sprouting up all over the U.S. and internationally as well. The Telegraph recently profiled one such program, which has been instituted at St. Michael's Primary School in Dorset, England.  At St. Michael's, 7- and 8-year-old students take turns reading to dogs for a 45-minute period. 

"The scheme works because the dogs are non-judgmental; they won't laugh at stammers or get impatient ... The children who benefit most are those with low self-esteem and often it is not their reading skills that are poor, but their confidence," Julie Lankshear of Caring Canines, a charity that provides the willing dog listeners for the program, told the Telegraph. "Reading to the dogs gives them confidence and enables them to communicate." 

For more great photos of the bond between kids and dogs (or to submit your own), check out the Best Babysitters album at The Times' photo-sharing site, Your Scene.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: EricnEnzo / Your Scene

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