Saint Brigid’s National School, is a primary school situated in the centre of Greystones, Co. Wicklow. Our mission is to provide the highest quality education for all our children in a happy, safe and stimulating Christian environment, focusing on their academic, social, personal, moral and spiritual development to help them be the best they can be.

Reading with dogs

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 in St. Brigid’s would LOVE to have a dog visit our school to help children with reading. ‘Burns by Your Side’ will give you and your dog the opportunity to become trained volunteers.

Working alongside your dog, you will visit a local school for a few hours each month. Your dog could help children: increase motivation to read independently. The tried and tested method helps children gain confidence in building their vocabulary and fluency by reading to a dog. The dog is a non-judgmental listener, whose very presence may calm and relax reluctant and anxious readers. Dogs do not judge. In addition children involved in the scheme are taught how to handle the reading dogs appropriately, including how to greet and respect dogs and how to be safe around them.

Your dog should be healthy, well behaved and have a good level of obedience, be over 18 months old, have lived with you for at least a year. You’ll receive full training in the form of a canine good citizenship course for you and your dog, on going support, uniform for both dog and handler, full Garda Vetting. The training is at a small cost, and will be held over 12 weeks for 90 minutes during a weekday morning in Bray. To find out more about the scheme and how to apply contact orlagh@burnspet.ie

If you and your dog fulfil the criteria, Orlagh will arrange an initial meeting for you to understand the scheme a little more,
discuss your volunteering desires and see if your dog will be comfortable in his/her volunteering role. To learn more about this initiative take a look at the Burns by Your Side website; www.burnsbyyourside.org