A retired guide dog is helping school children learn how to read

Tigger the retired guide dog at Cecil Gowing Infant School. Pictured with pupil Tegan Coe, 6.Picture

Tigger the retired guide dog at Cecil Gowing Infant School. Pictured with pupil Tegan Coe, 6.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A retired guide dog is bringing books to life for little ones.

Tigger the retired guide dog at Cecil Gowing Infant School. Pictured with pupil Tegan Coe, 6.Picture

Tigger the retired guide dog at Cecil Gowing Infant School. Pictured with pupil Tegan Coe, 6.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Turning the pages with Tigger has even encouraged some of the reluctant readers at Cecil Gowing Infant School, Sprowston, to grab a book.

But the new scheme with classes taking it in turns to read to the retired guide dog of local vicar the Rev Simon Stokes is not just about reading. Teachers are also using the opportunity to bring pupils out of their shells and educate them about the animals.

Headteacher Isabel Stubbs said: 'He's so good with the children and seems to know when someone is feeling a little shy.

'Because reading is an experience they can share, this gives it a focus and we want children to enjoy reading.'

Tigger the retired guide dog at Cecil Gowing Infant School. Pictured listening to the pupils read.Pi

Tigger the retired guide dog at Cecil Gowing Infant School. Pictured listening to the pupils read.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant


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Tigger is a favourite among the boys and girls at the school and year one pupil Tegan Coe said: 'I like Tigger because he is really cute.'

When asked what was their favourite thing about reading to the pooch, Maisie Kerby said: 'He looks at the pages' and Samuel Williams said when he started reading 'he wags his tail'.

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Ms Stubbs added: 'The children absolutely love it and one of my teaching assistants, Mrs Robinson, takes him for a stroll outside on the playground so that all the children can meet him.'

Tigger will be back at the school every Tuesday morning and in the afternoons he heads down to Falcon Junior School in Sprowston to encourage children there to become budding bookworms.

Do you have a quirky animal story? Call Jemma Walker on 01603 772531.

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