Author Topic: Children Readng to Dogs - Cirra's Book Bags  (Read 22424 times)

Offline seaherons

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Children Readng to Dogs - Cirra's Book Bags
« on: December 21, 2008, 05:10:15 am »
We have started a Children Reading to Cirra Program at an elementary school in our area.  Five classes are involved - kindergarten, two first grades, second grade and third grade.  The kindergarten class is large with twenty three children and Cirra and I visit them as a group.  As a group the kids read the "morning message", a large poster type book and sometimes sing a song.  Students from the other grades come to Cirra to read with her. 

In order to encourage reading at home we put together six Cirra Book Bags.  One for each class and two for the kindergarten.  The students take turns bringing the bags home and reading to "Cirra".  Each bag has "Cirra" - a stuffed Great Pyrenees puppy and books.  The teachers choose appropriate books.  I had someone make the Pyr puppies, used small LL Bean tote bags and put name card plates inside.  I printed out several name cards for each student with the school name, address and telephone number.  The students can write and/or draw pictures about the books they are reading.  I did print out a few pages for the children for writing or drawing:  a silhouette of Cirra,  a silhouette with lines inside and pages with Great Pyrenees rubber stamps the top - with and without lines.  The children can keep a log of the books that they read.  There are several options for using the bags to encourage reading. 

One student told his mom that he would be bringing Cirra home.  His mom was glad that her son would be bringing home the "Cirra" in the book bag. 

We have provided bookmarks for each student with "Thank You for Reading with Cirra" on the front and a sticker with Cirra's face.  The students get to chose a sticker for their bookmarks every time they read to Cirra.  The stickers for the kindergartener s are the same or very similar.  We also provided the students with Cirra's breed cards with a picture of Cirra on the front and breed characteristic s on the back.  It is my understanding the Cirra's picture is on some of the student's refrigerators and in their photo albums.

When we get a chance we are planning to make some word games about Cirra - crosswords and word searches. 

When putting together Cirra's Book Bags it did occur to me -that this might be a better project for a black dog. 

I am always interested in any suggestions from other folks participating in Children Reading to Dogs programs. 

Robyn and Cirra


Offline Mastihound

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Re: Children Readng to Dogs - Cirra's Book Bags
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2008, 06:00:35 am »
OMG What a wonderful thing you and Cirra are doing.  I would love for Morph to do something like that but there is no way.  Masons school will not allow any live animals on the school property at all.  It is their loss, esspecially when they could be doing a great program like you are.  Keep up the great work.

« Last Edit: December 21, 2008, 06:04:51 am by Mastihound »
Morpheus Mastidane 1 yr

A. J. Keeshound  3 yr

 Dogs are really people with short legs in fur coats

"No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does." - Christopher Morley
"The average dog is a nicer person than the average person." - Andrew A. Rooney

Offline ZooCrew

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Re: Children Readng to Dogs - Cirra's Book Bags
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2008, 07:00:03 am »
What a grear program you are running!  Clever ideas too!
I've heard of dog reading programs but not to the extent you are taking it, that is just wonderful!
I'd love to get involved with something like this for at least 2 of my dogs I know they would enjoy it.  But all the programs that I've found so far are in Chicago which is a bit of a hike for me to do on a regular basis.

but keep up the good work!

Offline Ursa

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Re: Children Readng to Dogs - Cirra's Book Bags
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2008, 01:28:05 pm »
What a great program! 

The stuffed Pyrs are adorable.
Ruthanna - the Triplets' mom

Ursa, CGC -  11 month old Great Pyrenees
Fargo, CGC - 9 month old Newfoundland
Sadie, CGC - 8 month old Newfoundland

What Now!? -

Offline jabear

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Re: Children Readng to Dogs - Cirra's Book Bags
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2008, 02:19:42 pm »
Love the stuffed Cirra's, Love Cirra going to the various rooms, and Love the idea that she is helping so many kids to become more confident. You two ladies are awesome! I wish Bear could go to school with me and help out  more often.
  Mom to one handsome black Bear.

Offline PyrPack

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Re: Children Readng to Dogs - Cirra's Book Bags
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2009, 12:57:32 pm »
Congratulation s on the program! It takes a lot of work to get something like that started.  Achilles and I went to his first Therapy Training class today.  Paws for Literacy at our county library is one of the programs in which I want to be involved.  Though we will probably do nursing homes as well.  People can't seem to keep their hands off of Pyrs.

Love the stuffed Cirras.  Can you connect me with your friend to get one?  Even better, can I get the pattern?

Offline Scootergirl

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Re: Children Readng to Dogs - Cirra's Book Bags
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2009, 02:26:28 pm »
Love, Love, LOOOOVE This!! Can I steal your idea for Derby and the San Antonio area if I ever get the time to do something like this?
"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principle difference between dog and man." -- Mark Twain


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Re: Children Readng to Dogs - Cirra's Book Bags
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2009, 02:34:34 pm »
those bags are to die for!!!  Cirra must love all the attention!!!  Does she fall asleep?  Having someone read to me makes me dose off like a baby.
Grace wants to know if she needs help.  she loves little kids...althoug h she tends to knock them over trying to give them kisses.  she would just love a bag like that with her face popping out of the top.

Offline seaherons

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Re: Children Readng to Dogs - Cirra's Book Bags
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2009, 05:19:58 am »
Cirra and I have been visiting the school on Thursday mornings - weather permitting.  Four "reading groups" of two students read to her and then we visit the kindergarten.  It is best to have one child read to a dog at a time and I am hopeful we will get to that point.  We began the program in the fall and the school wanted as many children to participate as possible.  Cirra's Book Bags provide a way for many children to become more excited about reading.  The third graders are keeping journals about the books that they read to "Cirra".   She does not fall asleep.  Actually, she is more restless than the"perfect" reader dog however that is just Cirra.  The kids don't seem to mind and we are still learning.  There is a lot to keep track of in an elementary school for a Pyr!!!   Of all the things in the school including lunches Cirra is most fascinated by the musical instruments in their cases in the hall.  We brought Cirra's BPO Secret Santa reader dog mat and bandana for "show and tell" to the kindergarten class.  ("Show and tell" is now called "share" - learn something new everyday).  The kindergarten kids were quite impressed and interested in the whole Secret Santa idea.  Cirra made some Valentines for her kids - I will post a copy of one.

I got the stuffed Pyr puppies from -  Cirra used LL Bean Bags - a Maine thing and Cirra has a large LL Bean bag that we bring to school and the library.  Hopefully, they will last awhile.  Lighter weight bags are available at craft stores.  Reading Education Assistance Dogs - Library Dogs - have information about children reading to dogs programs. 

Cirra would like to make a Cirra Activity Book with word games however that is a grand plan.  Maybe some day?  Children from K through Grade 3 read at very different levels!!!  Any ideas about that would be appreciated. 

I am interested to know what other folks are doing with reading programs!!!! - Robyn and Cirra