Immaculate Conception Elementary School in Fayetteville thanks Bishop Douglas J. Lucia and the Diocese of Syracuse for visiting on Oct. 12, a beautiful fall day. Bishop Lucia read to the kindergarten class of Maureen Pierret, and the class presented him with some gifts reflecting the school spirit. During his visit to IC, Bishop Lucia was able to stop into a few other classrooms and tour the building. The bishop has said that one of his goals is to visit every Catholic school and every classroom.
One of the four-legged reading ambassadors, Teddy, joined the class for the special story time. A few years back, Mrs. Pierret introduced a new element to the reading program during the Literacy Center rotation. Two “reading ambassadors”—golden retrievers named Hudson and Ted—have been visiting the kindergarten classroom to listen to the new readers. The dogs visit the classroom once a week and listen to the kindergartners hone their reading skills. They also enjoy a lot of hugs. It has been reported that children who read to dogs in a classroom gain confidence in their reading skills. Dogs in a classroom provide a positive mood, reduce stress and allow children to focus on learning. (Photos courtesy Caroline N. Agor-Calimlim)