Valerie Allan | May 25, 2016
NAEC has started a program called “Tall Tails: Stories with Chiclet”. Students will meet with Therapy Dog Chiclet and her handler, Mrs. Decou, for approximately 15-20 minutes per week to read stories aloud.
Chiclet is a 4-year-old Newfoundland dog, which has passed an intensive assessment process to become a Certified Therapy Dog with St. John Ambulance. As well as having professional qualifications, Chiclet has a sweet, gentle personality. Students read aloud to Chiclet in a safe, relaxing and non-judgemental environment. This is particularly suitable for students who are self-conscious about reading aloud in front of their classmates. As they progress, their reading improves because they are practicing their skills, building self-esteem, and associating reading with something pleasant.
Chiclet has all her vaccinations, and is clean and well-groomed. She is also in a location in the school where anyone with allergies or anxieties will never even see her. Chiclet has been participating in the program since just after Christmas, and students are really enjoying their time reading to her.