Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

Christine Martin and Roxie

An Outstanding Islander

Outline photo of Christine Martin and Roxie

“Read with Me Roxie”

Shortly after adopting her four-legged friend ‘Roxie Rae Texas Golden Girl’ five years ago, senior communications major Christine Martin realized that the golden retriever possesses a playful, yet gentle disposition that puts people at ease. Soon, Martin decided to put her dog’s special talent to work.

“Roxie needed a job,” explained Martin, who began training Roxie in obedience and agility. “She absolutely loves being involved and around people.” 

Martin explored canine therapy work and eventually created an opportunity where she and Roxie could interact with children and help improve reading interest and skills. As a certified therapy dog team with Love on a Leash and Reading Education Assistance through Intermountain Therapy Animals’ R.E.A.D. organization, Martin started the “Read with Me Roxie” program to improve students’ reading skills, comprehension, and pronunciation.

“Roxie listens patiently while the children read to her,” Martin said. “They pet her while they read and this helps them to relax and enjoy their book.  Pronouncing words clearly for Roxie is a fun learning exercise tool for the kids.”

In September 2011, the team began volunteering at Gloria Hicks Elementary School. Today, “Read with Me Roxie” participates with five Corpus Christi public schools and has started a summer program at the Janet F. Harte Public Library in Flour Bluff.  The team works with children to increase reading enjoyment and comprehension, along with helping those who struggle with dyslexia, or are learning the English language. 

“We enjoy being with all these children.  It’s great to see their excitement when they get to read to a dog,” she said.

Last semester, Martin created Roxie-oriented materials in her University Document Design class to continue assisting children with reading skills such as learning verbs and verb tenses.  She plans to write more Roxie material for publishing that can be used by her program, teachers, and parents. To learn more about the “Read with Me Roxie” program, go to www.readwithmeroxie.com.

 

 
© Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi • 6300 Ocean Drive, Corpus Christi, Texas 78412 • 361-825-5700