Friday December 20: When a child is born

At Sprite’s Site it is a quiet day in the midst of the Christmas rush. Everybody seems to be reading!
Sprite is reading the Christmas story to Emotional and Imaginational Dabrowski, who are both Read to Me Dogs

The Twitter Birds Nativity play: Scene 3 Away in a manger presented with the carol When a child is born

If you would like to read the Christmas story as told in the Bible follow the link to Bible Gateway or scan the QR code

Advocacy 2

Intellectual Dabrowski greeted me at the entrance to Sprite’s Site with the phone in his mouth and a determined expression in his eyes.
“You need to phone the school now and make an appointment to meet them and discuss Sprite’s education plan!” he said.
I realised with surprise that a month had passed since our previous discussion about the topic!

“But I have not finished reading Derrin Cramer’s new book Beginner’s Guide to Life on the Bright Side yet” I said.

And now I also want to read Jen Merrill’s book If This is a Gift, Can I Send It Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional which can be bought from Amazon at

“Then make the appointment for three days time and get reading!” ordered Intellectual.

(‘It’s that bossy attitude which has delayed your start as a Read to Me Dog in a classroom or library’ I thought)

“I want to co-operate with the school to get the best possible solutions for Sprite.  And I do not want the school to think I am one of THOSE parents!” I told Intellectual.
“So tomorrow I am going to participate in the Global #gtchat powered by TAGT first annual back-to-school chat, “Collaboration, Not Confrontation: Parents and Teachers Working Together.” Special guest panel includes TAGT members Dr. Lynette Breedlove, Angie French and David Sebek and later I will join the follow-up session to discuss the lessons learned. And then I can read through the transcript later at

“OK” grumbled Intellectual “but just don’t put it off for too long – the provisions that are in place at the moment are beginning to look a bit frayed and worn thin!”

Reading to dogs

Sprite loves reading. She reads very fast and with excellent comprehension when she reads silently.
But reading aloud is a different matter. Sprite lacks confidence when it comes to reading aloud.
She is afraid she will lose the place and miss words or jump from one line to the next.
And the more anxious she becomes the more likely she is to make mistakes.

Whenever Sprite reads the Overexcitable Dabrowski dogs gather round to read with her. See Sharing the news with the Dabrowski dogs
Sprite feels comfortable reading aloud to the Dabrowski dogs and was not surprised to learn that many libraries and schools have Reading to Dogs programs.

You can read about them at
Reading to dogs
Read to me dogs
Dogs in Libraries

In Australia we have Reading Labs
and Storydogs

Sprite suggested that the Dabrowski dogs should volunteer to be trained to be Read to Me Dogs.

She read to them an interview with Sophie, a literary assistance dog, at

However, only three of them were accepted into the program.
Sensual was considered unsuitable because of his habit of scratching and Psycho Motor could not sit still long enough to listen to a whole story.

Emotional and Imaginational completed their training very quickly and began work in local libraries and schools.

Emotional was a natural. With her empathy and warmth she was able to make children feel comfortable and confident.

Imaginational enjoyed helping the readers to see the pictures described in the stories and to predict what might happen next. And he is so gentle and quiet (and so very cute and lamb-like) that children love reading to him.

Everyone thought that Intellectual would be an ideal Reading Assistance Dog.

But, as it turns out; he still needs more training and more practice with Sprite.
This is because Intellectual can be quite pedantic, he loves to debate issues forcibly and his intellect can be intimidating at times.
He assumed that it would be his duty to actually teach the students and instead of listening patiently he was interrupting and correcting mistakes.