Puppies in the classroom

These puppies are helping children with their reading.

© fostertalespt - TikTok

Rescue takes adoptable puppies to a primary school and the magic starts to operate

By Zoë Monk Content Writer

Published on the

A first-grade teacher in the US has come up with a unique way to boost students’ reading while also providing much-needed care to shelter puppies.

Brooke Hughes is a teacher at Hanby Elementary School in Delaware. She was inspired by her own experiences fostering dogs during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to create The Foster Tales Puppy Program.

Improving literacy and well-being

The initiative aims to improve literacy among young pupils and boost their mental well-being. After pitching her idea to the school, Brooke ran a trial in January 2023, which proved to be hugely successful.

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Since then, Brooke has collaborated with Rags 2 Riches Animal Rescue to bring more than 50 puppies, aged 6 to 12 months, to the school. The canine companions' presence has had an incredibly calming effect on pupils and staff and has helped create a better learning environment.

Brooke has seen significant progress in her pupils’ reading abilities within just one year of launching the programme. Even reluctant readers have become eager to participate. After all, who would want to miss out on reading alongside a cute little puppy?

Foster families

An adorable clip shared on TikTok shows just what it's like to have puppies in the classroom (we are very jealous):

However, the initiative benefits more than just the humans in the school. The pupils and their families care for the puppies outside school hours, and the rescue covers all expenses and provides necessary supplies.

Remarkably, after being fostered by the school families, the puppies are typically adopted within weeks, freeing up valuable space in the shelter for other animals in urgent need.

Who knows, maybe this initiative will catch on, and puppies could be coming to a school near you very soon!

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