“I think it was fun reading to them and also talking to the owner,” said Winfield 5th grader Jailie when asked about the event this week that had four local therapy dogs visit the school. Another student, Hunter, said it was calming and fun reading to the dogs. Several of the students remarked they did not have dogs at home, so it was fun to interact with them at school. Others did have dogs at home and told the visiting dog owners about their own pets including their names and breed. The annual program is coordinated by retired CPP teacher and school volunteer Erin Merrill. “The program started in 2018 and allows students to practice their reading skills in a fun and interactive way.” She added, “Students pick out the books to read to the dogs and they are also responsible for getting the permission slips and making sure the slips come back to the school so they can participate.”
Principal Colin Sinko said, "We are very grateful for our reading partnership, Ms. Erin Merrill, and our four legged friends. This program is incredible for the Winfield students. The opportunity to snuggle up to the amazing dogs to read a book is something that the Winfield students look forward to each month."
The Winfield program runs one day a month with a different grade each visit.