LB School News
BARK (Beach Animals Reading with Kids)


Long Beach School News, December 2007

Josie Gavieres, whose adult son attended Bryant Elementary School, has returned with a literacy program, a team of mentors, and some furry friends with BARK (Beach Animals Reading with Kids).  BARK is a volunteer, nonprofit program committed to improving literacy skills in children. Led by Josie from Animal Rescue of Long Beach, the mission of BARK is to improve reading skills through the assistance of registered therapy teams as literacy mentors. Reading aloud is a critical component of early childhood literacy. Children who struggle with reading skills have an especially hard time reading aloud in front of peers and adults. BARK allows students to read aloud to specially trained therapy dogs without the fear of criticism.

Some of the dogs were rescued, including Tres. He had been abused and was later found by police officers with a nearly severed leg. He is now a therapy dog. Without words, Tres can still speak volumes about the power of a good book and the wonder of reading when he sits quietly next to a child reading loud.

Students are very excited about BARK and are checking the schedule for the next appearance of their furry friends.