Coni the dog helps Ely St Mary’s children with reading

Children at Ely St Mary’s Church of England Junior School with therapy dog Coni.

Children at Ely St Mary’s Church of England Junior School with therapy dog Coni. - Credit: Archant

Children at Ely St Mary’s Church of England Junior School have been given a helping paw with their reading from Coni the dog.

The school – part of the Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust – is the first in the area to join from the Paws 2 Read scheme, which is run by Therapy Dogs Nationwide (TDN).

Border terrier Coni comes into school once a week with her owner Amanda Wall to help four children gain confidence with their reading.

Initially a trial, they hope to expand the scheme further.

Coni has become a regular visitor to the school and has her own dog bed and bowl in the staffroom.


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Headteacher Beccy Ireland-Curtis said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to allow children to have extra reading time alongside a furry member of our team. “It embraces our holistic approach to helping children within school and we are delighted to have welcomed Coni and Amanda into school.”

Therapy Dogs Nationwide volunteer Amanda Wall added: “We have already seen an improvement in the reading of the children we help, and look forward to a long relationship with the school.”

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The dogs and their volunteers also visit hospitals and retirement homes.

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