Charles, the Therapy Dog Helps SCCS Second Grade Students Gain Confidence and Increased Reading Fluency

by | Nov 27, 2017 | Education

Learning and developing the ability to speak in front of people is an art that most will shy away from. Yet, it is a necessary part of life children need to be comfortable with. How do we instill this in children? How do we help them be comfortable with opening up and putting themselves out there?
Santa Clarita Christian School’s culinary arts teacher, Dawn Plew, believes it starts with the act of reading aloud and has a unique way of helping students learn this wonderful ability: his name is Charles and he is a licensed reading therapy dog. Through the Alliance of Therapy Dogs, Mrs. Plew was trained and certified to be Charles’ licensed handler.
Charles has gone through tremendous training to not only be comfortable around groups of children, but has come to love his time bringing comfort and joy to all of the kids at SCCS. Charles’ main goal when helping a child with reading therapy is to give the student confidence to read aloud.
“Many children struggle with reading aloud, as it is the first taste kids have at what it is like speaking in front of people,” said Mrs. Plew. “One girl was very fearful and struggling with reading aloud, but as soon as Charles was one-on-one with her, the girl began petting Charles and reading to him. Her fluency immediately improved. The comfort Charles gives to the kids to release any embarrassment has really been proven to be an effective tool in not only fluency, but the ability to comfortably speak in front of people.”
SCCS’ second grade teacher, Miss Essex, sees the true benefits in having Charles come in once a week for center times. “I have seen the confidence in reading fluency increase in all my students,” said Miss Essex.
SCCS is thankful to have teachers who truly care about the minds of their students and seek unique and wonderful ways to help children learn and grow.
For over 35 years, SCCS has partnered with families to help produce students who are prepared to make a difference in the world for God. Each year SCCS students are accepted into the nation’s top universities. RSVP now for SCCS’s Fall Kindergarten Preview Day on December 1, 2017 at 8:15 a.m. or Open House January 23rd at 6:30 p.m. by calling 661-252-7371. Early bird, pre-registration is from December 1 through December 15. Visit or




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