First grade students at Russellville Elementary are piloting the Ruff Reading program in Hamblen County Schools.

A school program is most successful when there is a partnership between the teacher and the H.A.B.I.T. (Human-Animal Bond in Tennessee) Ruff Reading volunteer. H.A.B.I.T.’s half of the equation is to bring a nonjudgmental and unconditionally loving animal that will create a supportive environment for students. On the school side, the teacher will have the opportunity to direct the use of this tool to create the best outcome for her/his students’ academic, social, or emotional development.

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