Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dogs Play By 4 Rules

If you've ever watched dogs at play, I'm sure you'll recognize the Dog Rules listed in this very interesting Scientific American Mind article by Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce.

Here's Bandit teaching our foster pups how to play fair. They're all grown-up now but that's Cowboy and Ripley bowing to Bandit. Tip's in the back waiting for an opportunity to jump in.

Can you guess the 4 rules of ethical dogs? Check-out the article.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

And the Winner is. . .

Sadie the Scottie may have completed the triple crown in dog shows by winning the Best in Show title at Westminster tonight but the REAL WINNER was Sit Stay Read’s 2010 Dog of the Year, LUCY SHOMAKER, an Italian Spinone!

The bidding was fierce but SSR volunteer, Barbara Shomaker, won the coveted title for her beloved Lucy by outbidding the other contenders. Yes, this is a title you buy, but the proceeds benefit a good cause and keep kids reading so we’re okay with that.

Many thanks to all 120 guests who made Sit Stay Read’s Best In Show event a huge success tonight. We had guests who walked from home to Fat Cat, in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood, and others who flew in from Florida and New York just for the event. Whatever mode of transport brought you to Best In Show, we greatly appreciate you for being there!

Friday, February 12, 2010

These Kids Get an "A" for Awesome!

Many thanks to Jen for pointing us to this great video. Beyonce's got nothing on these Scholar Ladies. Their smiling faces are sure to make your day!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Welcome to the World Baby Evelyn!

We are thrilled to announce a new addition to the Sit Stay Read family!

Tara and Cory Gaffney are proud parents of the gorgeous Miss Evelyn. Born on Tuesday, Feb 2nd, Evelyn weighed in at 7lbs 3oz and 20.5 inches long.

Best of all, everyone is happy, healthy, and doing well! Congratulations Tara and Cory--we can't wait to meet Evelyn!

For a short time you can view more photos of Evelyn at Bella Baby, enter password 0202evelyngaffney. I can't stop watching the slideshow--she brings a smile everytime.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Kids Need Play to Learn

"Playing to Learn", an article by Susan Engel in the NY Times, does a great job showing how schools could be exciting environments for true learning for children. I can't do it justice here but so many of her points are exactly what happens in a Sit Stay Read program. I hope you'll read the article but here's a favorite part of mine:

"Research has shown unequivocally that children learn best when they are interested in the material or activity they are learning. Play — from building contraptions to enacting stories to inventing games (I'd add: "to reading to dogs")— can allow children to satisfy their curiosity about the things that interest them in their own way. It can also help them acquire higher-order thinking skills, like generating testable hypotheses, imagining situations from someone else’s perspective and thinking of alternate solutions.

A classroom like this would provide lots of time for children to learn to collaborate with one another, a skill easily as important as math or reading. It takes time and guidance to learn how to get along, to listen to one another and to cooperate. These skills cannot be picked up casually at the corners of the day."

I'm sure all you SSR program volunteers will agree that working together in small groups and taking turns to go read to the dog teams helps our kids learn to collaborate--as does brainstorming for their stories.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Remembering Tibbie

It is with a very heavy heart that I report that our dear Sit Stay Read dog, Tibbie, left this world today. He was in liver failure and his family made the difficult decision to let him go. Seth tells us, "He went peacefully, surrounded by loved ones. . .we should all be so lucky."

Tibbie was always a favorite with the kids--one look at that face and you can see why(click on photo to see more.) Only last week he and Seth were part of the team in Ms. Nolin's classroom helping more kids learn to love reading. Kennell, a second-grader dedicated his book to Tibbie: "I dedicate this book to Jerry and Tibbie because Tibbie is a loving dog and I take care of him."

Thank you Seth for sharing Tibbie with so many. We are forever grateful for having you both as a Sit Stay Read team.