One local school has help in the classroom when it comes to hesitant readers. She isn’t a teacher and she isn’t a student. She is Rosie the Reading Dog.
The gentle-natured golden retriever visits classrooms at Alamance Elementary in Guilford County every other Friday. She lets kids read to her in a group. Or sometimes she meets one on one with students to encourage them to read out loud.
Carol Anne Earnhardt is Rosie’s owner and trainer. She says the dog is perfect for elementary school children.
“At this age a lot of kids struggle with being able to read aloud and by making reading fun it encourages them to read more freely and more often so they can get better and more proficient at it,” she said.
Earnhardt knows a thing or two about reading dogs. Ten years ago she had another reading dog named Deuce. After he passed away, Carol Anne said she wanted another reading dog, but she had to wait for the right dog to come along.
That was Rosie.
She knew early on this dog was going to be special.
“I usually don’t start them until they are at least 2 but she was such a good dog and so mellow and easy going at this age and so I decided to go on and let her work with the students.” she said. “But you do have to be very consistent with the training and what you are doing. She’s got her Canine Good Citizen certification and she’s working toward her therapy certification.”
When Earnhardt pulls out her yellow Good Citizen bandanna, Rosie knows its time to go to work.
“She wags her entire back half because she gets very excited,” she says.