Jul. 9, 2014 8:35 pm
Logout|My Dashboard

Volunteer brings dog to Parrish school

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013 9:32 am | Updated: 9:02 pm, Fri Mar 22, 2013.

PARRISH - Over the last month, we've brought you special reports about the state of education on the Suncoast.

Tonight, we're focusing on the impact volunteers have on our schools.

School volunteers come in all shapes and sizes. At Williams Elementary School in Parrish, Kathy Hysmith brings her dog "Spirit" to school each week. First graders at the school choose a book and then read it to Spirit.

Spirit is an ambassador dog for Southeastern Guide Dogs. While a health problem prevented Spirit from becoming a guide dog, he's perfect as a reading partner.

Teachers say he instills a love of reading in her students, which is what all teachers strive for. "It encourages them to read. Some of the kids who aren't as motivated to read, they want to. They practice their books. They pull them out so they can read to Spirit. It’s an excitement for them," says Teacher Melissa Andrews.

"The kids look forward to Spirit coming in, she comes in every week and they have a book that they get to read to her and it’s fun for them, they can read and if they stumble on a word, she doesn't correct them and it helps build their confidence, their self-esteem just by having fun reading," says Hysmith.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.