Dogs encouraging Port Hadlock students to read, be calm

Dogs and students walk side-by-side through the halls of Chimacum Creek Primary School.

School officials say four-legged friends at the school help students pay attention, calm them down and encourage them to learn to read.

Every Friday, second-grade students get a chance to read aloud to furry companions in the school’s library as part of the Read to Rover program. Recently, a therapy dog named Blitz has visited the school two to three times each week.

“Both of them are an opportunity for the kids to have a non-threatening person — or dog — to talk to and read with,” said Kalie Enlow, the school’s principal. “They can read to someone who is not going to judge them and they have that low-risk environment.”

Enlow said Blitz is on a trial run for now, but so far having the rescue dog from the Kitsap Humane Society around at school has helped students, she said.

“With the therapy dog, we have a lot of kids that have various background situations they are coming from and (Blitz) just seems to calm them,” she said.

“So when they are having high anxiety over something or are angry or upset about something, it’s a nice way for the kids to be able to hug, cuddle or pet…

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