Learning to read or communicating generally can be fearful for many children. Research has shown that reading to a dog as a companion can reduce stress levels, increase relaxation and provide a comfortable situation where there is no peer pressure. This creates an environment where a child is empowered and motivated. A dog is a compassionate listener and doesn’t judge.
Preferably on a one-to-one basis, a child will read or communicate with the Burns by Your Side dog. The dog is supervised at all times by the skilled handler, who will remove any pressure from the child and provide gentle support. The environment creates a calm non-judgmental atmosphere where additional reading or communication practice builds vocabulary and fluency.
A Burns by Your Side volunteer team consists of a well-trained therapy dog working alongside their handler. The animals are good-natured and thoroughly assessed for their levels of obedience and temperament by a fully qualified dog trainer and assessor. Volunteer handlers have undertaken the safeguarding training and an enhanced DBS check. We advocate the best possible working environment and practice for the welfare of the dogs and some of our volunteer handlers are specialist dog trainers. Others are teachers or people who are passionate to make a positive contribution to help our future generation.
Could you and your dog spare a few hours each month to visit a local school to help improve children’s literacy and confidence? We are looking for some very special volunteers. ‘Burns by Your Side’ will give you and your dog the opportunity to become a trained volunteer team. Working alongside your dog, you will visit a local school for a few hours each month.