Comments from Library Staff

'Paws for a Book' scheme - Barnstaple Library - Team DHK

"We are amazed at the impact on children's reading that the 'Paws for a Book' sessions provided by Dogs Helping Kids has had. Reading to a Dog - so simple yet so affective!"

Sharon Dixon, Library Supervisor - 16-01-2014, Barnstaple Library, North Devon


'Paws for a Book' scheme - Barnstaple Library - Team DHK

"The dogs and handlers of DHK have been a regular part of our lives at Barnstaple library for about a year now, and the difference they make to the children that they work with is plain for all to see, and more than a little astonishing. We've seen children who would come into the library to use the computers, do a bit of colouring or play with the soft toys, but who would go to quite extraordinary lengths to avoid actually cracking the spine of a book, usually with a comment along the lines of “it's too hard,” “I can't do it” or “I'll get it wrong.” To see the change in these same children after they have had a few sessions with a dog from DHK, to see them become confident and enthusiastic readers, is remarkable. The sessions really do help them to lose their fear of making a mistake, which in turn allows them to approach reading as something that can be enjoyed, rather than a stressful test of ability with a definite pass/fail condition attached to each and every word. Good work all, keep it up!"

Rob Lamerton, Library Assistant - 14-08-2013, Barnstaple Library, North Devon


'Paws for a Book' scheme - Barnstaple Library - Team DHK

"Since Barnstaple Library has been working with the DHK charity, we have been amazed at the impact on children's reading, especially for those children who need that extra bit of help and support and Dogs Helping Kids have made a big contribution to that impact. We have had many examples of the changes in children, following their reading sessions with the DHK Team, who have improved their literacy skills, increased their achievement at school, dramatically improved their confidence and social skills and generally increased their all-round attentiveness and motivation. We have had some very impressed parents and teachers, who have told us of individual children for whom the sessions have made a world of difference. "

Sharon Dixon, Library Supervisor - 07-2013, Barnstaple Library, North Devon


'Paws for a Book' scheme - Barnstaple Library - Mandy with Dexter

"We had our first 2 children come in yesterday for their 'Paws for a Book' sessions with Dogs Helping Kids.
The first child was incredibly shy and meek and would not speak at all when she arrived, I gave her a book that I thought that both she and Dexter (the dog) would enjoy and then introduced her to Dexter and handler.
Thirty minutes later she emerged from the small meeting room on the ground floor babbling away to me as to how Dexter had enjoyed his story but did not understand a couple of words so she looked them up in the dictionary for him. Apparently Dexter was concentrating so hard he had his eyes closed for part of the story!
The parents could not believe the change in such a short time and have booked another session.
The second session was also very successful with a child for whom English is her second language, which as a result does not like to read aloud in class because she thinks that she is pronouncing the words incorrectly. Again a very positive child emerged from the room wanting to come again."

Sharon Dixon - Library Supervisor - 07-2012, Barnstaple Library, North Devon


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Callanish, Eastacombe, Tawstock, Barnstaple,
North Devon, EX31 3NX