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Park City, UT: Therapy dog in school is "an incentive for [students] to behave in the classroom"

Dec 7, 2017, Park City (UT) Record: Dogs read with students at Trailside Elementary School https://www.parkrecord.com/news/dogs-read-with-students-at-trailside-elementary-school/ The students in Sue Minneci's kindergarten class see Benno as a fellow classmate. Like them, he goes everywhere with a trusted adult, he is still learning how to read and he turned 5 years old this year. The only difference is that Benno is a dog. Benno, a Bernese mountain dog, is part of the R.E.A.D. (Reading Education Assistance Dogs) program at Trailside Elementary School. Once a week, he and his owner, Ellen Folke, visit the class so students can take turns reading to him. … Miller brings small groups of students out to the hall so the kids can throw a ball for Macy before Miller reads a book to the students. Etheridge said that he wanted to have Miller read rather than the kids to focus on teaching the "joy of reading." "You have these basics that we need to teach," he said. "It's (very) repetitive so they can get it down and master it. This is just another super fun way to review reading without them realizing it." He sees kids who are not able to concentrate well in the classroom sit quietly beside Macy, listening to Miller read. Henry Cunningham, a student in Etheridge's class, said it is his favorite part of Macy's visits. … Minneci said that bringing in Folke and Benno helps improve students' reading abilities. Plus, since the students love Benno's visits, it is an incentive for them to behave in the classroom. …