SPRINGFIELD, MASS. (Springfield School Volunteers) Jan. 14, 2020 — Therapy dog, Cassie, visited students at Alfred M. Glickman Elementary School on Jan. 14. The 10-year old Bright Spot volunteer, and her owner, Nancy Friedman, were special guests as a part of Springfield School Volunteers’ Read Aloud program.
Read Aloud volunteer Ann Sabato brought Cassie in to bring January’s Read Aloud book, “Madeline Finn and the Library Dog” by Lisa Papp, to life for the students. The story’s main character Madeline overcomes her reading obstacles and achieves her goals with the help of Bonnie the therapy dog. The inspiring tale shines a light on the real-life use of therapy dogs to support those working on becoming stronger readers.
Sabato contacted Bright Spot Executive Director Cynthia Hinckley to arrange a therapy dog visit in conjunction with her reading aloud.
“Once I realized the reading of this book was coming up, I thought that having a therapy dog join me would be a wonderful opportunity for the students. I began asking the students questions about dogs to get a general idea about how they felt, making sure no one was allergic or had a fear of dogs before asking for permission from the school and reaching out to Bright Spot.” Sabato said.
She was matched with Friedman and her dog Cassie, who have a long history in reading therapy with school children.
For the students in Gladys Alvarado’s classroom at Glickman, this special Read Aloud experience has driven home the power of reading and volunteering.