by Kim Grierson
Story Dogs is a not for profit charity with a mission to light the fire of enthusiasm for reading in young students. In July 2020, 497 Story Dogs and their handlers visited schools across Australia.
Lions Club of Forest Lake and Leos from St John’s College have sponsored 4-year-old, black Labrador Retriever Sherrin and her handler, Lion Caroline King, to provide individual reading sessions to Grade 2 students at the Forest Lake State School on a weekly basis. The support is in line with Lions International reading program to improve the reading skills of children throughout the world. COVID-19 has put a temporary interruption to the program but Sherrin will return to school when visiting is considered safe.
The Grade 2 children read self-chosen books to Sherrin, in a fun environment with many laughs, questions and doggy treats which encourages individual children to relax and their skills to improve. Sherrin also serves as an educator of canine behaviour as the children learn about the responsibilities of dog ownership, her needs for companionship, safety and wellbeing and how to communicate safely with her. Sherrin often acts as emotional support for children who may be needing a confidence boost or just be having a tough day and her presence encourages communication without judgement.
Schools across Australia enjoy the free reading program while dog owners can enjoy quality time sharing their pets to assist local students. If you would like to share your pet dog and join the Story Dog family, Story Dogs welcomes new dog/handler teams. Enquiries can be made by going to www.storydogs.org.au.
The Forest Lake Lions Club meets on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month. The meeting held on the fourth Wednesday is a dinner meeting at the Blue Fin Fishing Club. For club enquiries, please contact our Forest Lake Lions Membership Director Lion Penny Powell on 0417 734 971.
If you have any queries or are interested in joining, please contact our membership chair, Penny on 0417 734 971.
To read more updates from the Forest Lake Lions Club, go here.