Tail Waggin' Tutors Program visits with Pottstown students

Submitted photos Keshanna Brown with Jack, also in Mrs. Trainer’s 5th grade.
U'kari Taylor, Christian Coale, and Dana Summerville in the background. The dog's name is Jack, and his owner's name is Jalma.

Pottstown Middle School fifth and sixth grade students spend some quality time with man’s best friend. Once a week four members of the Tail Waggin’ Tutors Program – Jack, Blue, Mozart, and TJ sit in the classroom as students read a book of their choice.

Reading intervention assistant Victoria Redmond says of the program, “Statistics have shown that reading to a visiting canine buddy assists students with learning skills, encourages communication, lowers blood pressure, decreases anxiety, provides comfort, and in general brightens the students’ day. During the time that the students are reading, their canine buddies sit with them and at times almost look like they are interested in the book being read by their friend.”

“The kids love it and find it relaxing. Even some of our students who are not regular readers are the first to volunteer to read to their canine buddy. They feel comfortable and it helps allow them to enjoy reading. When the canines are here, the students always want to read,” said fifth grade teacher Mandy Langdon.

Mr. Matt Boyer, 5th and 6th grade Principal, said, “This is an outstanding program that gives our students an opportunity to experience the joys of reading in an environment that is warm and nurturing.”

“The kids enjoy reading to Mozart and it is an experience that they will not forget,” said fifth grade teacher Deb Wilson.

Each dog is accompanied by their handler and seems to enjoy the experience as much as the students.