Why Read to Dogs?
Children usually have a lack of confidence
in their abilities to read. They are often intimidated and worried about making mistakes that can cause stress or nervousness
while reading. Dogs are ideal reading companions because they allow for a relaxed, and comfortable environment. Dogs never
judge. The child usually pets the dog while reading and before you know it, becomes relaxed and are enjoying reading. With
the joy of reading there is an improvement in a child’s self-esteem and confidence.
Known as a type of therapy,
reading assistance dogs provide a crucial key to the improvement in reading of children.
Reading aloud to dogs:
• Reading becomes fun, therefore
encouraging the child to participate
• Develops reading skills
• Teaches children how to interact
TO READ! is also a wonderful program for Nursing & Care facilities, offering the elderly the ability to read aloud to
a patient and attentive companion, thereby stimulating communication, memory, and encouraging social interaction.
How Does It Work?
The Nationally recognized READY TO READ!™ program utilizes Certified Canine
Therapy Assistants, skilled & certified as Literacy Assistance Dogs, trained and tested for health, safety,
temperament, obedience & therapeutic skills. When these amazing dogs listen to children read, reading becomes fun! Children
participating in reading programs such as READY TO READ! make enormous strides
in reading and communication skills while also building self-esteem, confidence, and social skills.
program is simple. Participating schools and libraries pair up with literacy assistance dogs (and their trainers), for some
one-on-one fun. The situation is usually very relaxed, with the dog and child sitting together on the floor. This encourages
physical interaction during the session which can help put the
child at ease (petting dogs has been proven to lower blood pressure and reduce stress). Children benefit from the patience,
acceptance and comfort of the dog's presence, while getting much needed practice with their reading skills in a non-judgmental
Children Gain from the Reading to Dogs Program
Children have an ability to interact
one-on-one with a highly skilled therapy dog (and trainer) to improve their reading skills. The benefits carry over to other
areas of the classroom as well, including decreased absenteeism and increases in the completion of homework. In addition,
the Reading to Dogs Program helps children:
Gain confidence. Children
that score lower on reading placement exams are generally self-conscious about their abilities, thus they are more likely
to be uncomfortable reading in front of their classmates. By substituting their peers with a therapy dog, they are able to
read in a completely non-judgmental environment, thus helping them to gain confidence in their skills.
Build self-esteem. Children
with lower self-esteem are more comfortable having personal interaction with a pet than with their peers. By reading to a
therapy dog, children are able to overcome shyness and other hurdles that impede their enjoyment of reading and other social
Responsible pet care. In
addition to the educational and social benefits of this program, children who participate also learn about interacting with
an animal. For those who do not have pets at home, this program can teach children about proper dog care and behavior.
With the help of this program
and the therapy dogs, children with weak reading skills can be given a new way to improve their literacy, as well as reinforce
their social skills.
In addition, when children accomplish the goals of the READY
TO READ!™ program,
they receive a brand new book to keep which are “pawtographed” by their 4-footed reading companions.
A Grrrrrreat reward!
Are you READY TO READ ?
Contact us today
to schedule a READY TO READ! program,
or, for more information, write us at
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TO CCWDA PROGRAMS