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Burns By Your Side

Our reading dogs in schools scheme

Burns By Your Side invites trained volunteers and companion animals to help children improve literacy and confidence skills through reading-with-dogs sessions. The idea is that a dog creates an aura of calm, allowing children to feel at ease and communicate more effectively.

From Snoop the Chihuahua to Hoola the Whippet, the range of dogs taking part in the scheme are as varied as their owners. The programme has been active since 2016 and we now have over 65 volunteers across West Wales and the East Coast of Ireland.

Over 18,000 reading sessions are predicted for this year

The idea behind Burns By Your Side is that if a child is a reluctant reader, a dog is a compassionate listener who doesn’t judge.  Reading to a dog creates an aura of calm, allowing children to feel at ease and communicate more effectively.

The scheme has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on the wellbeing, self-esteem and confidence of pupils and continues to flourish at many schools, colleges and libraries.

Our volunteers are based in educational settings across Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion, Swansea, Carmarthenshire and Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

Our scheme is in high demand and regularly train and place new volunteers. This means that if all goes to plan, by 2020 we will have 100 trained humans and dogs modelling BBYS uniforms and empowering tomorrow’s generation.

 

“A dog creates an aura of calm, allowing children to feel at ease and communicate more effectively.”

Making a Paws-itive change

For more information or any enquiries about Burns By Your Side, please get in touch.

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