Canines Graduate From C.A.R.E. Program
Thirteen canines and their owners made up the inaugural graduating class of "Luther and Friends Canine Visitors Bureau" C.A.R.E (Canine Assisted Reading Education) program on Sept. 20.
Graduation was held at the Agriculture Center in Carthage. After graduation, canines and their owners visited Moore County Schools Central Office to have their pictures taken for ID badges and the canines posed for official photos to be displayed in their assigned school. All primary and elementary schools now have their own C.A.R.E. Reading Buddy.
Reading Buddy assignments and hometowns for the inaugural class are: Harry and Sophie with Ursula Walsh, Pinehurst, Aberdeen Elementary; Friday with Jim and Kathy Lupini, Pinehurst, Aberdeen Primary; Cinder with Susan Miller, Pinehurst Academy Heights; Mollie with Barb Randall, Cameron, Cameron Elementary; Rocket with Barb Randall, Cameron, Carthage Elementary; Stubben with Tammy Foster, Vass, Highfalls Elementary; Luther with Rebecca Vassallo, Pinehurst, Pinehurst Elementary; Midi with Charlie Kerr, Pinehurst, Robbins Elementary; Molly with Joe Kling, Seven Lakes, Sandhills Farm Life; Blue with Carole Wilkinson, Southern Pines, Southern Pines Elementary; Tenya with Diana Simpson, Southern Pines, Southern Pines Primary; Bear with Sherri Grantham, Vass-Lakeview Elementary and Molly with Nancy Kling, Seven Lakes, West End Elementary.
Luther's Friends and their owners received C.A.R.E. training on Aug. 10 and are T.D.I Certified (Therapy Dogs International) and each have their C.G.C.( Canine Good Citizenship) certification issued by the American Kennel Club. Instructors for C.A.R.E. were Bonnie Buchanan, owner, Bon-Clyde Learning Center, Sanford; Rebecca Vassallo; Linda Hubbard, volunteer coordinator, Moore County Schools; Angela Zumwalt, chairman, Coalition for Companion Animals and Beverly Lashley, Title I Administrator for the schools.
Moore County schools launched the new volunteer program in April. The Bureau consists of two programs -- C.A.R.E. and Responsible Pet Ownership. Both components will be taught by volunteers.
Luther began his career as a Moore County School volunteer in September 2005. Prior to adding Moore County Schools to his weekly schedule, Luther volunteered and continues to do so at the Sandhills Children's Center, Moore County Literacy Council, Elmcroft Assisted Living, Oakdale Heights and St. Joseph of the Pines.
A rescue dog from the Haven, Luther is certified through Therapy Dogs International and has a Canine Good Citizenship Certificate issued through the American Kennel Club. He continued his education by becoming the first canine to receive orientation and training for the Volunteer C.A.R.E Canine Assisted Reading Education Program developed by Moore County Schools. Luther completed his training in June.
Luther is the motivation for the creation of the canine visitors bureau and the inspiration for the development of the Canine Assisted Reading Education C.A.R.E. Program.
The mission of C.A.R.E program is to expand a child's interest and confidence in reading, thus laying the groundwork for a lifetime of education that will ultimately lead to a higher quality of life.
Twelve new teams of owners and canines have just completed four sessions with Barb Randall, certified trainer, and will be tested next month in hopes of receiving their TDI and CGC certifications. C.A.R.E. training will be offered to the November graduates on Jan. 12, for the second class of Luther & Friends and will begin working in the schools beginning in February.
Twice-a-year sessions are planned in the future with the goal to place several C.A.R.E. teams in all primary and elementary schools annually.
For more information about Luther and Friends Canine Visitors Bureau, call Linda Hubbard, at 947-2342 or Beverly Lashley at 947-2976.
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