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Phil and Sandy Encourage Reading At Twin Oak
Phil, Sandy and students
Volunteers are very special people and an important facet of the daily operations of Mount Vernon City School District.  This is especially true of one dedicated volunteer, Phil Samuell and his therapy dog Sandy.  For over four years, "Phil has been dedicated to encouraging children to read by bringing Sandy to  the classroom each week at Twin Oak Elementary School," says first-grade teacher Kristen Campbell.  "The children work so hard on reading development in first grade, and this gives them a wonderful opportunity to read to their furry friend that will always listen. Sandy is the most patient dog I have ever seen, and she will just lay for hours and allow the students to read and love-on her.  The kids look forward to reading to Sandy every Thursday, and they work so hard on their reading during the week so they are ready when Phil and Sandy visit the classroom.  It is such an incentive for them, and it also gives them an opportunity to just relax with Sandy and read with no stress!  It is amazing to watch how every year Phil and Sandy become such an important part of our classroom.  I am so grateful for the hours that Phil gives back to Twin Oak and the students."  
Student Reading to Sandy
Phil gives his time each week to Twin Oak students in kindergarten and  first grade, and he comes back to the school special events.  When Phil  and Sandy walk through the hallways, every child that passes is excited  to see Sandy.  There are beautiful pictures placed around the building  depicting the connection that the students have with Sandy, and Phil so  generously captures and donates these memories.  We are very lucky to  have such a dedicated volunteer team; Phil and Sandy are a very special  part of Twin Oak Elementary School.