Alex Cardenal from Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition, along with his classmates, hugs one of the dogs from the Star Bright Therapy reading program. To the left of Alex is one of the volunteers from the program, behind him is behavior technician Neil Siriani, and to his right is teacher Tammy Miller. Volunteers come with the dogs to Palm Pointe once a week for 45 minutes to read with the students. This helps students improve their reading skills. The dogs are ideal reading companions because they help increase relaxation, they listen attentively, do not judge, laugh or criticize. They allow the students to proceed at their own pace and sometimes are less intimidating than peers. This program helps to build the student’s self-esteem, confidence and social skills.