Each month The Joy Book Club will choose a lovely book-related charity who we think does absolutely tremendous work and donate £1 from each box sold that month to them. Nice, eh?
The Bark & Read Foundation provides funding and support to individuals and charities, big and small, who bring dogs into classrooms and libraries to assist children and young people to become confident and happy readers. The effect, both on reading levels and behaviour is really quite remarkable. The idea is very simple – reading to and interacting with a classroom dog helps children and young people to love reading, overcome shyness and increase their confidence, and improve concentration and behaviour. For most schools, this involves regular visits from a volunteer handler with a dog which has been trained and assessed as suitable for this work and which carries suitable insurance. Typically, a child gets to spend about 15 minutes one-on-one time with a dog on a regular basis and this is an opportunity for the child to practice reading aloud to a comforting, non-judgemental listener. The presence of a dog in the classroom and the interaction with the dog through stroking and cuddling helps children to remain calm, focused and to be less self-conscious and nervous. What we see are improved reading levels and also a broader holistic benefit of improved behaviour, concentration, self-confidence and enthusiasm for school.
Which just sounds wonderful to me. If there was a dog coming into my primary school for me to read to, I'd certainly have been a lot more enthusiastic about going! Dogs are the other great love of my life, aside from books and the Boyfriend. And given that Box No.3's book was Sirius by Jonathan Crown, about a plucky young pup, this choice for our Rad Book Charity of the Month seemed like a no-brainer. Helping children to read and to do so in a way that involves dogs and will likely instil a love of reading, is definitely a cause worth supporting.
If you would like to learn more about them, or donate further to this lovely charitable foundation, click here to head over for a mosey around their website.