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Man’s best friend is also a pretty good listener. That’s certainly the case with Truman, a black lab and mastiff mix therapy dog, who has helped young students become more comfortable readers this school year.

The program is called PAWS for Reading and it turns this large black dog into a special reading assistant at Donald P. Sutherland and Green Meadow Elementary Schools.

Truman and his owner Antonette Perry have visited DPS once a month since the fall and every Friday at Green Meadow beginning in January.

One at a time, students sit down next to Truman in the library and read aloud to him. On Friday morning, first graders at Green Meadow each read to him a different story from the Henry and Mudge series.

“Reading to the therapy dog Truman provides students a comfortable, safe environment to apply their readings skills,” said Green Meadow first grade teacher Denise Romer. “The children thoroughly enjoy reading to this calm and loving dog.”

Thank you to parent volunteers Amy Spairana and Katie Sheehan for coordinating the PAWS for Reading program.