This Volunteer Taught His Dogs a New Trick – Helping Kids Read

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This Volunteer Taught His Dogs a New Trick – Helping Kids Read

Terrance Brown shows elementary school kids a trick with his dog, Ziggy, during which Ziggy appears to be reading.
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This #volunteer taught his dogs a new trick – helping kids read. #ReadAcrossAmerica @FirstBook | via @PointsofLight
Friday, March 6, 2015 - 11:30am

This week – in coordination with the National Education Association’s annual Read Across America Day, March 2 – Points of Light and First Book are honoring volunteers who are teaching children to read. Meet Terrance Brown, a Daily Point of Light Award winner, and nominate someone you know as a Point of Light.

As a Vietnam War combat veteran who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, Terrance Brown knows firsthand the healing power of dogs.

“When I retired from the Army Reserves my wife gave me a dog,” says Brown, who writes a regular feature about local soldiers for the Albany Times Union. “When the dog died after 14 years, [my wife] noticed that during the entire time I had that dog I had no PTSD relapses. That dog was clearly very therapeutic.”

Brown also realized that dogs had another special talent: They could help a child read.

“My granddaughter has Asperger’s syndrome and was very late in developing her reading skills,” Brown says. “She refused to read to her parents, so my wife and I encouraged her to read to the dog. Slowly but surely over time her reading skills improved.”

These two personal experiences have shaped the volunteer work Brown does today, helping kids enhance their reading skills.

Read the read of the story on the Points of Light blog.

Keywords: Awards & Recognition | Asperger's syndrome | Education | First Book | Health | National Education Associaion | Points of Light | Post-traumatic Stress Disorder | Read Across America Day | Schenectady | Veterans