Read Across America - Get Involved! - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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Read Across America - Get Involved!

Starting today, Monday, March 2 is Read Across America week. Its now in its 12th year, and the program focuses on motivating children to read. The National Education Association sponsors it, and it is celebrated starting on March 2 since it is the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Maddie and I will be visiting and reading to seven 1st and 2nd grade classes and over 160 children as part of ARF’s therapy dog program. We hope to motivate children to read to their pets.

Maddie goes to ARF’s All Ears Reading (their Read to Rover program) every Monday where children read to her for about an hour. I have been so amazed at how much confidence children gain by reading to an animal. Maddie doesn’t judge, doesn’t correct, but just listens and lets children pet her while they are reading to her. She has her own little “reading blanket” and fluffs it up to her satisfaction when we get there and seems to love having the children sit down next to her and read to her (well, actually I think she just likes the attention, but I tell the children how much she loves their stories). The children even show her the pictures in their books and really believe she is totally involved in their story.

But in the Read Across America program we’ll visit elementary schools this week, and I’ll read a story to the children while Maddie lays on her blankie next to me to show children how they can read to their dog, cat, rabbit, bird, etc. Many members on this Forum have kids of their own, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, etc. I’d really like to urge you to encourage these children to read to their pets, their neighbor’s pets, your pets, etc. I can’t tell you how much progress in self confidence and love of reading these children (many with reading disabilities) have. Its just a terrific thing. Maddie and I are leaving in an hour or so to go to our first class, and I’ll let you know how our week goes!

Jeanne (Mom to Maddie)
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 01:55 PM
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I didn't have my camera but Oliver and Comet came to school today. We celebrated Dr Seuss's birthday with stories,cake and ice cream!
PS-3 cheers to Jeanne and Maddie for all the work they do!

Sally,((Oliver)) Comet and Pennie too!
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 01:57 PM
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Jeanne you rock!

I actually took Posh to Violet's preschool today. I read "Good Boy Fergus" by David Shannon and then took Posh out to meet the kids, show them how I take care of her by brushing her teeth and fur, and then showed them some of Posh's tricks. The kids got to lie down on the rug and act as "jumps" for Miss Thang to jump over. It was a great morning and of course she was a big hit.

I did, however, have to explain multiple times that Posh didn't like to be picked up and also talk to them about how they approach a dog, and how they must always ask to pet a stranger's dog. How does it work with the Read to Rover program? What age kids are you working with?
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 01:58 PM
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Sally I didn't have my camera either!
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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Whoo Hoo Sally and Amy! I'm glad you're getting involved in the Read Across America. As for Maddie and me......we are both so pooped! We visited 3 classes of second graders today. I forgot the energy level of this age! Anyway, they all loved Maddie (who wouldn't love a Havanese!), I read a story "Rhubarb" (after Maddie spent nearly a full minute fluffing her reading blankie....too embarrassing!), and after giving the class a lecture on how to approach a dog, let each child come up one on one to let Maddie smell the back of their hands and then pet her. Oh, and a media photographer was there and tooks lots of pictures of Maddie and the children, so maybe it will be in the local paper!

Maddie had to greet over 60 children, so she has reason to be pooped. So it looks like Amy, Sally and I were all in school today!

Amy, in our case, the Read to Rover program usually has kids in the early grades signed up. Any parent who wants their child to read with a dog signs them up, they come to ARF on Mondays after school, select a dog (there are about 6-7 dogs each time, then read next to the dog sitting on the floor. I think alot of libraries have it too, and we're looking into a prospective reading program at Danville library I heard about. It would be alot closer for me.

Jeanne (Mom to Maddie)
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 10:38 PM
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cool jeanne. thanks for the info! i think i'll look into this. she has her cgc, but isn't a certified therapy dog...yet!
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Well, the "reading" week is over, and Maddie and I are both exhausted. It was a great week though, and Maddie met and was petted by over 160 children. We even got our picture in several local newspapers. It was a great experience for us, great publicity for ARF, and the 1st and 2nd graders really enjoyed it. They all got the giggles when Maddie spent way too much time fluffing her reading blankie. Hopefully, more children will want to read to their pets and enhance their love of reading.

A couple of the teachers asked about Havanese and expressed an interest in getting one in the future. I told them to make sure to check on health testing and to research reputable breeders carefully. Its nice to see how many people love Havanese, but it is kind of scary how popular they are becoming, especially with all the puppy mill stories out there.

Jeanne (Mom to Maddie)
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 11:17 PM
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Jeanne-we saw your pic in the paper. I was going to post the online version but it did not include the picture.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 11:46 PM
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Hi Jeanne:

The reading programs are just amazing and I leave the schools each month feeling so satisfied that Racquet encourages the children to read. I am sure you and Maddie
are a great team. I hope more people on the forum will enter the school system with their Hav's.

Elayne and Racquet
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-07-2009, 12:39 AM
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Hi Jeanne- Cheryl brought me the article from the newspaper with the pic of you and Maddie in it- So awesome! Huge congrats to you and all you do for the children!


Katie

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