Santa paws helps Story Dogs

Margaret and Daisy visit Santa at Peregian Springs Veterinary Clinic.

Story Dogs gained a much appreciated financial boost of $739 from Peregian Springs Veterinarian Surgery’s annual Santa Paws fundraiser in December.

Each Christmas for the past three years the veterinary surgery holds the event with proceeds delivered to various animal organisations and this year the beneficiary was Story Dogs.

Peregian Springs Veterinarian Surgery are also regular sponsors of Story Dogs team Margaret and Daisy.

Story Dogs is a non-for-profit reading support program based on the successful American literacy program, Reading Education Assistance Dogs (READ). The READ program was launched in 1999 in the US. Story Dogs has now been helping Australian children learn to read for more than 11 years.

Story Dogs volunteers are not there to teach the children to read but to make it more fun and enjoyable so they want to read.

Reading sessions take place in a quiet area of the school grounds, such as the library or outside the classroom. A reading session is about 20 minutes long, where each child is one-on-one with the dog team and books are chosen to suit the student´s reading level.

When children read to a dog, the outcomes are amazing. It is a non-judgemental setting, the children’s focus improves, their literacy skills increase and they become more confidence.

“As teachers, we look for innovative ways to build confidence and reading skills. Story Dogs offers a safe and nurturing space to achieve these goals,” one teacher said.

On the Sunshine Coast, Story Dogs partners with more than 24 schools. It has 58 wonderful Dog Teams helping children every week and is supported by 44 local sponsors.

The program is always looking for new volunteers and sponsors. For more information visit