Volunteers and their dogs helping children to read

Two volunteers and their dogs visit Lakelands Library each week to read with home-schooled children and build their confidence. 

Story Dogs volunteers Stef White and Deb Wiseman with Dachshund Flynn and Labrador Seth, visit for one-on-one sessions with each child for about 20 minutes.

The objective of the program is to build the child’s confidence by reading to the dog in a non-judgmental and relaxing atmosphere.

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Lakelands Library Officer Jo Towse said the program was a popular addition to the services the library is able to offer local home school families.

“Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from both parents and students, with noticeable improvements in readers confidence and greater motivation to visit the library and share stories with their canine pals,” she said.  

The group recently had a visit from City of Mandurah mayor Rhys Williams who chatted with the children, parents and volunteers, supporting the community initiative. 

Alcoa Pinjarra Refinery officer Stephanie Gardner said the organisation was a proud supporter of Story Dogs.

“Alcoa is an active and supportive partner in the community and through this partnership we are pleased to contribute to the Story Dogs program and the wonderful work they do,” she said. 

Other sponsors of Mandurah Story Dogs are Halls Head Vet, Falcon Lions Club, Occuhealth, Falcon Small Friends and Kara Sewell.