Janet Upton – Story Dogs
Retired High School teacher Janet Upton started volunteering because of her love for animals and helping children. She found out about the Story Dogs program through her daughter and has since spent the last six years volunteering for the organisation with her dog, Keira.
“As a high school teacher, I saw first-hand how difficult subjects are without appropriate reading skills,” she said.
“At Story Dogs, my dog, Keira and I volunteer as a team to put the fun into reading. We help Year 2 Students to relax in a non-judgemental reading environment to help them improve their self-esteem and reading skills.”
During her time volunteering Janet has noticed the significant impact that her and Keira have made to the children they’ve helped. Seeing the enthusiasm of the children when they’re with Keira and seeing their joy for reading increase has been the highlight of her overall experience.
“The impact we’ve made is so much greater than I could imagine. Every student in the program has improved their reading levels and have gained self-confidence and a new love for reading. It’s amazing to see the joy Keira brings to the children in the program,” she said.
Janet has found volunteering to be a rewarding experience and encourages everyone who is interested in helping others and giving back to the community to try volunteering.
“I continue to volunteer because I enjoy being able to help others and put a smile in their face. Volunteering makes the world a better place for those who need help and for the volunteers themselves,” she said
If you would like to become a volunteer, contact Volunteering Services Australia on 07 5526 0688 or visit www.vsaustralia.org.au.