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‘Tail Waggin’ Tutor’ Helps Kids Overcome Reading Anxiety [Video]



  • Booker T. Pug, a 3-year-old licensed therapy dog, has been helping the students of South Salem Elementary School overcome their fear of reading aloud.
  • The kids can practice reading aloud in the presence of the adorable Booker, who will definitely not judge them if they made a mistake.
  • Booker also helps kids overcome their fear of dogs and provides comfort during trying times.

Reading aloud can seem like a daunting task for kids, especially when done in front of the whole class.

But thanks to a certain “Tail Waggin’ Tutor,” several kids have overcome this fear and developed a love for reading.

Booker T. Pug, a 3-year-old licensed therapy dog, was named after the late author and educator Booker T. Washington.

Photo Credit: Facebook

It turns out that two-thirds of the third-graders in the state of Georgia are reading below their age level, according to the nonprofit Get Georgia Reading.

So the Covington school district allowed Booker to operate full-time in the “Tail Waggin’ Tutors” program. The students of South Salem Elementary School now practice reading aloud in the presence of the adorable Booker.

Photo Credit: Facebook

Meghen Bassel, Booker’s owner and handler, explained, “Booker offers a nonjudgmental environment for kids to practice reading. He’s not going to notice if they said a word incorrectly, missed a word, or didn’t attempt a word. He will simply sit and listen.”

Not only does Booker help kids practice reading, but he also helps them overcome their fear of dogs. And as a therapy dog, he also provides comfort during trying times.

Photo Credit: YouTube

Meghen and Booker also help educate the kids about different cultures and experiences outside of Newton County.

When Booker participated in the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Meghen taught the kids about New York City and the show’s history. Booker even won a merit award and placed sixth out of 27 pugs!

Photo Credit: YouTube

Meghen shared how “amazing” it is how “one little dog” has helped kids improve and even get excited about reading.

“They’re no longer afraid of picking up books and reading in front of the class, whereas before they would whisper or pass on the opportunity. They jump at the chance now. It’s amazing to see,” she shared.

Photo Credit: Facebook

Meghen, along with the whole school, is truly proud of their new staff member.

Would you love to see a similar program in other schools?


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