MOUNT VERNON — The majority of the Mount Vernon Board of Education meeting last night was mostly routine. As noted in the published agenda, several individuals were recognized as the meeting began. Both scholar and fall athletes were recognized as well as Kris McManaway, who was named the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence Paraprofessional of the Year. Sandy Schisler was named the Twin Oak Behind the Scenes Person.
Within the Twin Oak building report first-grade teacher Kristen Campbell brought in Phil Samuell, a member of Therapy Dogs International, who volunteers in Campbell’s classroom with therapy dog, Sandy. Four of Campbell’s first-grade students came forward along with “Mr. Phil” and Sandy, a golden retriever. Campbell shared a presentation with the board that displayed how together Samuell and Sandy have been beneficial to the classroom.
Campbell said that the program benefits the children and creates a relaxed reading environment; the children take “more risks while reading”; and that they “work hard all week for the opportunity to read to Sandy,” said Campbell. Campbell said that by reading “familiar books,” in preparation for Sandy’s visits, helps to “build fluency” in students’ reading. Reading levels have “improved on average three to four levels.” Campbell expressed her appreciation for the program, and that the class has turned their reading experience into writing. Four students shared their stories and experiences of reading with Sandy and “Mr. Phil” with the board of education.
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