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Mt. Pleasant Michigan Kennel Club

Tale-Waggers

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MPMKC has worked for more than 3 years to improve the literacy skills of the children in our community through the use of certified therapy dogs as literacy mentors. Our program was started after reading about a program proven effective by the Intermountain Therapy Animal in Salt Lake City, Utah, that has since spread to many other states. Our Committee name was changed to Tale-Waggers™ in 2005.

Any child who wants to have fun reading with the dogs is accepted, as well as those who are struggling with reading skills and self-confidence. After all, it's fun to go to the library; it's fun to read for pleasure; and it's especially great to share this fun with a furry friend (a dog).


Experts have found that children who read at a level below their peers are often intimidated by reading aloud in a classroom setting. Thus reading becomes a chore. Children find that reading to an animal is less intimidating, a special time for them that is helpful and fun at the same time.



Tale-Waggers Update


Some things that were decided at the committee meeting in December: Teams who have worked our previous program are grandfathered in. For new teams we will require a CGC or certification from TDI/Delta Society and an additional test that Doreen Messner created based on Sit Stay Read group certification. This test is very child centered.

All new teams will take the Sit Stay Read test. For example, John Smith has a dog with a Delta Society certification, he will still have to take and pass the Sit Stay Read test. Suzy Smith has a CGC on her dog, she will still have to take and pass the Sit Stay Read test. Click below to see the test.

MPMKC evaluators will be identified. Practice night and then a testing night will be scheduled several times a year. Two MPMKC members are AKC CGC certifiers. If you are willing to help with our Tale-Waggers practice session and testing, please let Alice Jenicke know your availability.

We decided to use blue kennel club shirts and club name tags. Dogs will wear bandannas. An order for shirts will be passed around at the Jan. meeting. We will offer the option to add Tale-Waggers at the bottom of the name tag.

Literacy issues session:Alice will look into setting up a literacy training session. This will help give us some tactics to use in fostering literacy at all levels. Programs:It was easy to see that the children were enjoying the books and the dogs.

Four week sessions are being planned at MP library. We will have a meet and greet program prior to the kick off. We will set up dates and times... We'd like to get a consensus about the preference for an evening program or a Saturday program.

Contact program co-chairs if you can help with any aspect of this program.

Click here to see the Sit Stay Read certification:

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