From December 7th, we will have two very special visitors every Wednesday morning in Midleton Educate Together N.S. Brigid Glasheen and her lovely little dog, King Charles spaniel ‘Penny,’ are our volunteer team from Irish Therapy Dogs. They are assisting some of our pupils to take part in the ‘Reading for Fun’ programme. The aim of Irish Therapy Dogs’ Reading for Fun programme is to improve the literacy and communication skills of children. In the classroom setting children often feel self-conscious and nervous if they have to read aloud to their classmates. The Reading for Fun Programme encourages the children to read to a special reading ‘friend’ – in this case an Irish Therapy Dog like Penny. The dog is a captive audience who does not judge or criticise them, never laughs at mistakes and so makes reading an enjoyable activity for them. The children relax while reading to the dog and this gives them the confidence needed to read aloud. With improvement in their literacy and communication skills their self esteem and confidence grows. We look forward to welcoming Brigid and Penny on a weekly basis.