By: Richie Pergolizzi | WCTV Eyewitness News
February 1, 2019
ST. MARKS, Fla. (WCTV) -- Reading with a helping paw.
Kids at Wakulla Coast Charter School got some one-on-one time with man's best friend Friday.
Brody and Starla are therapy animals. About 10 years ago, the therapy dogs joined in on an international program called Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) to help kids improve their reading skills.
Every Friday, each student in first through eighth grade in schools around the Big Bend gets an uninterrupted 15 minutes of reading time with the dogs.
"I really enjoy it because the kids get to read out to the dogs in a non-judgmental environment." said Stephanie Perkins, Director of Animal Therapy at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare.
"It makes me happy to see her happy. And to see the kids progress and be happy as well," continued Perkins.
Third grader Shain Mahone has developed a love for reading and his furry friend.
"The first time I read to him, reading a book, there was a word that he didn't understand. And I explained it to him," said Shain.
A cold nose and a warm heart, helping North Florida students improve their reading skills.