Oak Hills High School News
Furry friend joins Read 180 class at OHHS
Oak Hills High School has introduced a new staff member in the English department, and he isn’t your average instructor. Therapy dog Seger, an eight-year-old Labradoodle, recently started making appearances in Miss Jennifer Harris and Mr. Mike Nieman’s classroom, and it’s easy to see why he’s a hit.
Before Seger’s duties brought him to Oak Hills, he was a regular at local nursing homes, but now he’s helping students improve their literacy. From calming anxiety to helping students stay on task, therapy dogs have been shown to bring a multitude of benefits to students in all walks of life.
After doing some research on therapy dogs in the school setting, Nieman felt that the students of his Read 180 class could benefit from what Seger had to offer. Read 180 is a program which provides students with their required English credit and an additional reading elective, while seeking to improve their reading skills more than one grade level in a given school year. To do this, they are supported with an extra bell of English during the regular school day.
They began slowly, with Seger visiting for short periods of time, but recently his time in the classroom has been increased. He greets all the students as they arrive, and with his support the class begins their normal class work. Toward the end of the lesson students break into groups to work in stations of reading and writing, and one of those stations includes the chance to read aloud to Seger. This fun reading exercise helps to build their confidence too!
“I like having the dog here in class, Read 180 student Hunter Moore said. “He’s fun to read to and easy to talk to.”
Harris and Nieman reported that Seger is making positive strides in the class including reducing classroom disruptions, a pleasant surprise to the teachers. In the months to come, they hope that they can expand Seger’s presence to more of their classes. Keep up the good work, Seger!