Buddy the dog has quickly become a favorite friend at Edmund W. Miles Middle School. He visits Ricki Budnick’s class every Monday morning, and students gather around to read to him.
Reading to dogs has proved to be a therapeutic approach in the development of literacy skills. Ms. Budnick explained that the students find it relaxing because the dog is nonjudgmental. Children select the books they want to read and sometimes do a theme, such as on Feb. 6 when they all picked animal stories.
Buddy comes with his handler, Joan Kemnitzer, a volunteer from Bideawee’s Pet Partners program. Ms. Budnick found out about the program from school librarian Lynn Cesiro, and said she plans to continue it for the rest of the school year.