Nor’Wester Readers, a canine assisted learning program that works in area school districts including Council Rock, will host a family dog walk on Sunday, May 6 at
Registration for the walk, which will raise money for the program, begins at 9:30 a.m. There will be a three-mile walk and a half-mile mini walk.
The cost to participate is $15 per person, $25 for a parent and child and $50 for a family.
In addition to the walk, the day will feature pet/family photography, dancing dog demonstrations, face painting, pony rides, raffles, vendors, a dog contest and more. There will also be an opportunity to have your dog evaluated to see if they are eligible to become certified therapy dogs.
Nor’Wester Readers has been providing services in the Council Rock School District since 2007. The organization, based in Richboro, currently works in 17 schools, 36 classrooms and five local school districts, including Pennsbury and New Hope Solebury.
The program places dogs and their handlers into the classroom to foster motivation, student confidence and a love of learning. The goal is to enhance learning so students fully realize their potential and experience a stress-free environment that increases self-esteem and confidence.
The therapy teams work in a wide variety of classroom settings in both the elementary and secondary level. Council Rock has used the teams in regular education settings, as well as learning support and autistic classrooms, counseling sessions and life skills classes.
A variety of breeds participate as therapy dogs, including labs, golden retrievers, collies and bernese mountain dogs.
Nor'Wester Readers co-director Debbie Glessner said dogs are ideal learning companions because they help increase relaxation, listen attentively, do not judge or criticize and are less intimidating than the students' peers.
For more information about the event and the organization, visit www.norwesterreaders.org.