2 Programmes to choose from -  which suits YOU & YOUR Child? (see info below)

Sian's 1:1



Siân is offering 1-to-1 reading sessions with children to help build their confidence and make reading fun in an environment that is relaxed, welcoming and non-judgemental!

The reading sessions will take place in the library on Saturdays between 12pm and 1pm. The library will be closed to the public, so the children will have space to read without distraction. The sessions will be 15 minutes each.

We ask that parents help their child choose a book before the session, and stay in the library during the session. Children are welcome to choose fiction or non-fiction books!

Before the first session, you will be asked to fill out a short form so that we can make the sessions welcoming and accessible for all children.

The library is closed during these sessions but accompanying adult (& family members) are to wait in the libray & encouraged to quietly browse while their child has their 15 minute session.   We also encourage families to arrive 5 mins early to help their child pick a book - all types of children's books can be chosen!

Burns by your Side

THURSDAYS 3.30PM with Lucy & Bear  (beginning 19th May)


Burns By Your Side invites trained volunteers and companion animals to help children improve literacy and confidence skills through reading-with-dogs sessions. The idea is that a dog creates an aura of calm, allowing children to feel at ease and communicate more effectively.


Reading to a Dog – Why?

Learning to read or communicating generally can be fearful for many children. Research has shown that reading to a dog as a companion can reduce stress levels, increase relaxation and provide a comfortable situation where there is no peer pressure. This creates an environment where a child is empowered and motivated. A dog is a compassionate listener and doesn’t judge.


What happens at a therapy session?

Preferably on a one-to-one basis, a child will read or communicate with the Burns by Your Side dog. The dog is supervised at all times by the skilled handler, who will remove any pressure from the child and provide gentle support. The environment creates a calm non-judgmental atmosphere where additional reading or communication practice builds vocabulary and fluency.


Burns by Your Side Volunteer Teams

A Burns by Your Side volunteer team consists of a well-trained therapy dog working alongside their handler. The animals are good-natured and thoroughly assessed for their levels of obedience and temperament by a fully qualified dog trainer and assessor. Volunteer handlers have undertaken the safeguarding training and an enhanced DBS check. We advocate the best possible working environment and practice for the welfare of the dogs and some of our volunteer handlers are specialist dog trainers. Others are teachers or people who are passionate to make a positive contribution to help our future generation.

Burns by Your Side is a scheme aimed at children who could benefit from improved reading and communication skills.


The idea which is tried and trusted in the US helps children in a variety of education settings gain confidence in building their vocabulary and fluency by reading to a dog.


Using specially trained volunteers and their companion dogs, these very special animals come to a school or library to hear the children read.


The scheme also supports children in nurturing or special provision units to help increase feelings of well-being through a therapy visit.

Reading with a companion dog can:


  • motivate a child to read independently and
  • build self-confidence and self-esteem
  • improve reading fluency
  • a child feel less stressed and anxious