Pupils from Maplefields School in Corby, Northamptonshire headed
to Crufts yesterday to celebrate World Book Day.
To mark the occasion at the world's biggest dog show, the
pupils, aged between 8 and 14, read to Danny the Greyhound, a
Reading Education Assistance Dog, one of the five charities that
the Kennel Club's Bark & Read Foundation supports.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: "World Book Day is a
celebration of books and reading, and is marked in over 100
countries all over the world. In celebration of this for the first
day of Crufts, pupils read to Danny, a Greyhound, to promote the
wonderful benefits of children reading to dogs.
"The Kennel Club Bark & Read Foundation was started in
November 2011 and some of the results we have seen since the
beginning have been fantastic. We have seen many schools
noting a marked improvement in pupils' reading levels since getting
involved in Bark & Read, as it offers the children the chance
to read aloud in a unique and fun way, without pressure or fear of
Maplefields is a specialist Behaviour Emotional and Social
College and Academy based in Corby, Northamptonshire. The school
caters for pupils aged 5 to 19 years old with severe behaviour,
emotional and social difficulties. Danny is a regular visitor
to Maplefields school and was even mentioned by Ofsted in their
report as an example of good practice.
Lynda Morgan, Headteacher at Maplefields school, commented:
"Over the three years many children in our school have had the
opportunity to read to Danny and this has boosted their reading
ability with some moving up as much as three years in one academic
year. Danny has also and just as importantly helped children to
become more confident with their reading and generally to improve
their self- esteem.
"The children really enjoyed visiting Crufts and telling
visitors how much they enjoy their reading time with Danny, which
we all value so much."
The Bark & Read Foundation is funded by the Kennel Club
Charitable Trust, and supports the following charities: Pets As
Therapy, through their Read 2 Dogs programme; Reading Education
Assistance Dogs (READ); Dogs Helping Kids, Caring Canines and the
Google Literacy Project. The Bark & Read initiative improves
pupils' literacy skills and confidence through encouraging them to
read to a non-judgemental companion and is free for schools to take
For more information visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/barkandread or
visit the Bark & Read stand in Hall 3 Stand 60 at Crufts.