'Jodi the dog' helping students improve their reading level

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - It's McKenna Dickinson's favorite class-- reading in the "Puppy Tales With Jodi" program.

Genesis Assistance Dogs approached Rosarian Academy earlier this year about adding Jodi, a Golden Retriever, to the staff to help elementary students improve their reading skills.

Principal Virginia Devine said, "It improves their fluency and joy of reading. When you can practice reading to someone else, that is non judgmental and is sitting there as your friend, and listening to you."

Every day Jodi comes to school with the principal Monday through Friday, early in the morning until 5:30 in the afternoon, helping kids improve their reading.

McKenna said, "It helps me reading and now I am reading a lot of big books, I used to read little books and she's really good."
In the puppy tales program - students read to Jodi in a separate room where they're comfortable and if they make a mistake, Jodi doesn't judge them or make fun of them.

Kendal Perry, another student said, "It's more fun and I feel comfortable and she is so soft and it helps me read better and I love her so much."

Devine says that's all the proof she needs to know the class is working.

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