Story Dogs

  • Event Holder
    Story Dogs
  • Date
    06 Jan 2023
  • Time
    09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
  • Admission Price
  • Location
    Murwillumbah, NSW

Countdown to event!

2023-01-06 09:00:00 2023-01-06 17:00:00 Australia/Sydney Story Dogs Story Dogs is a reading support program designed to improve the literacy skills of children – using dogs! Children with reading difficulties get to read in a non-classroom environment to accredited dogs. The program is proven to improve reading skills, increase focus and grow comprehension. Murwillumbah, NSW Story Dogs


  • Cause-related
  • Community
Target Demographics
  • 0 - 15 Years
  • Both Male/Female
Target Regions
  • Australia-wide

Sponsorship Benefits

We help over 935 children each week.
We have 187 current volunteer Dog Teams
We have Dog Teams in 126 schools in NSW, QLD, VIC, TAS, WA and SA.
118 Dog Teams are sponsored, 62%.

Sponsored Event Experience

The Story Dogs program is available to all primary schools, both state and private, and is FREE to all participating students. A school generally comes on board when a volunteer comes on board and requestsa school near them.

Event Background

The Story Dogs not-for-profit organisation was formed in 2009 in Murwillumbah, NSW by Leah Sheldon and Janine Sigley, both parents of primary and high school children. Story Dogs is based on the successful American literacy program: Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) which 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.

Underpinning the objectives of our program is the knowledge that "students with reading difficulties find themselves in a cycle of almost unrelenting failure that ensures an ever – widening gap between them and fluent readers" (Konza, 2006. p. 152).

During 2009, we ran a trial at Murwillumbah East Public School (MEPS), with three dog teams. This trial was very successful with positive feedback from students, teachers, the principal and parents. From that trial the program has continued to expand across Australia.

Event Details

Story Dogs volunteers visit the school of their choice every week, on the same day, and at the same time, for approximately two hours. Students come to cherish their Story Dog team, so volunteers commit for the full school year. All types of dogs, except for restricted dog breeds, are eligible to become part of Story Dogs. The dog's temperament, obedience and willingness are of utmost importance to the program. The dogs must pass an accreditation test carried out by our certified Dog Team assessors and must all have annual vet checks, be vaccinated, have council registration and be clean and groomed before going into schools.

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