It is vital for children in today’s society to learn and perfect reading skills, due to reading being necessary for almost everything from job interviews and examinations to understanding news updates. However, keeping children interested is often a battle, which is why Olive has recently been attending Corsham Primary School to make a difference.
Olive is a greyhound dog who is just four years old and, prior to his contribution with the school in Corsham, Wiltshire, he was preparing for a racing career. Unfortunately, Olive’s racing career was cut short when he was abandoned in Ireland. Despite the sadness surrounding Olive’s early life, he was taken in by the Greyhound Rescue West of England. Emma Ratcliffe from Bath is the event coordinator for the rescue group and her care for Olive has seen him move on to bigger and better things.
Fiona Allen is the head teacher of Corsham Primary School and she, along with many others, is thrilled about Olive’s assistance with the children. The idea for Olive to work with the children came about after Fiona read about assistant dog programmes that are regularly organized in America. Since this inspiration came to light, the greyhound has been attending workshops every couple of weeks.
During the workshops, Olive simply accompanies the children while they paint, read and draw for him. This is proving to be a great way for children to focus their energy into education. Speaking about the arrangement, Mrs Allen said:
“I have always wanted to involve a special dog in the life of our children who have special educational needs. This has been a brilliant opportunity for them.”