Kardinia Rotary Club supports the local Australia Wide Story Dogs Program by funding three story dogs.  The Story Dog Mission is to Create a safe, fun, supportive, non-judgemental environment for Year 2 primary school children needing assistance with their reading.
Story Dogs is based on the successful American literacy program, Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.). The R.E.A.D program was launched in 1999 in Utah, USA, as the first comprehensive literacy program built around the appealing idea of children and young adolescents reading to dogs.
Reading sessions take place in a quiet area of the school grounds, such as the library or outside the classroom. A reading session is approximately 20 minutes long, where each child is one-on-one with the dog team. Books are chosen to suit the student´s reading level. 
During the session, the handler often speaks through the dog, such as; “Sam doesn't understand what is happening on this page, could you help him out?” The child becomes the teacher as they help the dog understand, and their confidence soars.
Our volunteers come with fun, interesting books that are specifically chosen for beginner readers. The students also have input into what they read. We encourage the students to write letters to the dogs between reading sessions, further encouraging literacy skills.
Which children are chosen for the program?
The children are usually Year 2 students, generally between seven- and eight-years-old who are chosen by the school. We do not take children below Year 1. 
Story Dogs does not assess the children in any way, as the sessions are designed to be as fun and non-threatening as possible. We rely on assessment results taken by the school. 
Parental consent is required before a child can participate in the program.
Story Dogs school programs in Australia
The Story Dogs program is available to all primary schools – both state and private – and is free to all participating students.