Kids Learn With 'Man's Best Friend'
In American English we have an expression: "A dog is a man's best friend."
A dog can also be a child's best friend, especially if that child is having difficulty reading.
An organization called Reading Education Assistance Dogs, or R.E.A.D, has been using dogs to help children learn to read since 1999.
The idea is that sharing a book with a kind listener increases the confidence of the students. It can also increase their love of reading.
In the library at Public School 57
Listeners include Izzy. Izzy is a cute, scruffy therapy dog and a regular visitor to Public School 57 (P.S. 57) in East Harlem, New York.
Students meet him in the library, pick out a book and sit down on the carpet. Izzy snuggles up to them and gets ready to hear a story.
"I love reading to Izzy because he listens to me, and he doesn't make fun of me when I make a mistake."
Nine-year-old Aelane Vasquez is in the third grade. Her parents are from Mexico. She is among the 15 students of Latin American descent at the school who were selected for the program.
Bridget McElroy teaches English as a Second Language at P.S. 57.
"All the students that we worked with in the R.E.A.D. program were behind reading levels at the beginning of the year. Most of them have caught up to where they should have entered, if not surpassed that."
That achievement is important. Reading at grade level when kids are young is linked to how well they will do in school later. Studies show that kids who can't read as well as they should when they are nine years old are less likely to graduate high school by the time they are nineteen.
McElroy says she sees a great difference in Aelane and her classmates. The difference is not just in their reading levels. She also sees their increased love and excitement of reading. The teacher calls this phenomenal.
"Not only do the kids have time to practice reading, what we are really seeing is that they are excited to read, and they are motivated to practice even when Izzy is not here. And as a classroom teacher that's phenomenal because, you know, there is very little that I can do to convince a kid to go home and practice reading, where 20 minutes a week with Izzy is all that they need."
The R.E.A.D. teams from New York Therapy Animals work with 175 kids at P.S. 57 t and nine other schools. The popular program plans to expand to even more schools in New York City next year.
I'm Anna Matteo.
1.American English 美式英语
In this respect, British and American English have not diverged very much.
2.Public School 公立学校
All my children went to the same public school.
3.regular visitor 常客
He was a regular visitor of hers.
4.pay attention to 注意；重视
In doing our work, we must pay attention to ways and means.
1.Students meet him in the library, pick out a book and sit down on the carpet.
pick out 挑选
Can you pick out the right one?
My mother is going to help me pick out a new suit.
2.Studies show that kids who can't read as well as they should when they are nine years old are less likely to graduate high school by the time they are nineteen.
as well as 和...一样
Boys as well as girls are taught cookery in school these days.
Brothers and sisters do not always agree as well as they should.、
他们认为与友善的倾听者分享一本书可以增加学生的信心 。它还可以提升学生对阅读的热爱 。
伊兹（Izzy）就是其中一位倾听者 。伊兹是一只可爱的毛茸茸的治疗犬，也是纽约东哈林区57号公立学校的熟客 。
学生们在图书馆见到它就会拿起一本书然后坐到地毯上 。而伊兹依偎在他们身旁准备听故事 。
9岁的艾琳•瓦斯克斯（Aelane Vasquez）正在读三年级 。她父母来自墨西哥 。她是该校挑选参加该课程的15名拉美血统学生之一 。
布里奇特•麦克尔罗伊（Bridget McElroy）在57号公立学校教第二外语——英语 。
“参加“陪读狗”课程的学生都是年初未达到阅读标准的 。而现在多数学生的阅读能力已经达到标准水平 。”
这一发现十分重要 。孩子年幼时的阅读水平与以后在学校的表现息息相关 。研究表明，若9岁时达不到相应的阅读水平，19岁很难拿到高中毕业证 。
麦克尔罗伊表示，她能感觉到艾琳与其他同学身上明显的差异 。这种差异不仅仅是指阅读水平 。她还发现，他们对阅读的热爱与激情与日俱增 。罗伊老师觉得“太让人吃惊了” 。
“孩子们不仅抽时间阅读，更重要的是，他们对阅读充满热情，即使伊兹不在身边，他们也会自觉地阅读 。这对老师来说意义非凡，因为我无法说服孩子回家后继续练习阅读，因为每周与伊兹阅读20分钟就足够了 。”
纽约动物医疗项目的“陪读狗”团队与57号公立学校及另外9所学校的175名孩子一起合作 。预计，明年该课程将推广至纽约更多学校 。