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Video: Meet Angel, the Northern Ireland dog that's there to listen

Meet Angel ‘The reading dog’, who visits once a week to pupils at Abbey Primary School, in Newtownards.

The reading dog’ project is the brainchild of P3 teacher, Susan Nelson.

Ms. Nelson said, “Angel and her owner come in voluntary which is fantastic, but yes, I know Janet, Angel’s owner is just as passionate as we are and yes we hope it will become long term.”

Susan added, “It’s been a pleasure to be part of it and it’s just been fantastic to see the children’s literacy skills develop and it’s lovely having Angel.”

The golden Labrador visits a group of children from Primary two to five, she listens to the children as they each take turns reading a book out loud. This helps the children build their confidence, literacy and communication skills.

Principal Jonathan Manning said, “It’s a different thing for a school and it’s something that has been brought to us and we felt that due to the positive research that has been done on it we will try it out.”

Mr. Manning added, “The results are that the children really enjoy it and it has really improved their self-confidence and self-esteem.” The programme started in November 2016.

The children who get reading sessions with Angel will complete their programme at the end of January and new children will get the opportunity to read aloud to the special dog.

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