Presentation on theme: "READING, OF COURSE!. Advantages of Reading Dog Programs Therapy Dog Associations Dogs and Reading across Texas ◦ Public Libraries ◦ School Libraries."— Presentation transcript:
Advantages of Reading Dog Programs Therapy Dog Associations Dogs and Reading across Texas ◦ Public Libraries ◦ School Libraries Dog programs from a trainer’s point of view How to start your own program
Roddy is reading with his nose. Roddy is a volunteer at the Leander Public Library in the Austin area. Picture provided by Austin Dog Alliance.
American Booksellers Association estimated that the average American reads less than one book per year. 2002 survey of 17,135 respondents based on data from the census bureau indicated that the reading of literature dropped 10% from 1982 to 2002. (Source: “Fewer Noses stuck in Books www.NYTimes.com)www.NYTimes.com
Research shows that children who read slower than their peers do not like reading aloud and view reading as a chore. Research shows that children with low self-esteem are more likely to feel comfortable reading to a dog. Children tend to forget their limitations and improve reading skills. Teachers and librarians who have implemented a R.E.A.D. program agree unanimously that children who struggle with reading benefit from interacting with a non-judgmental animal.
Libraries and schools across the nation are starting reading programs with dogs. A great site to find more information is www.librarydogs.comwww.librarydogs.com Delta Society and Therapy Dogs Inc. are only two of the organizations that test and register therapy dogs. Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) is a program of Intermountain Therapy Animals. READ Mission: to improve literacy skills of children through the assistance of registered therapy dogs and their handlers.
The R.E.A.D. program was launched in 1999 as the first comprehensive literacy program. The scope of the R.E.A.D. program is to demonstrate how registered therapy dogs and their handlers can be instrumental in improving the literacy skills of children in an effective, unique, and most importantly, fun manner. Literacy specialists acknowledge that children who are below their peers in reading skills are often intimidated by reading aloud in a group, often have lower self-esteem, and view reading as a chore. The intent of the R.E.A.D. program is to have children read to the therapy animals.
A study was done at Bennion Elementary School in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was conducted from March 2000 to June 2001. The students were paired with a dog and they met once a week at the end of the school day. Children were chosen by teachers, the principal, and a social worker. All children in the study were ages 5 to 9, reading below grade level, and considered at-risk children.
Decreased absenteeism Improved self-confidence and self-esteem A sense of pride for their accomplishments A willingness to get involved in other activities Interactions with animals are more respectful and kind
Qualities of a Good R.E.A.D. Therapy Animal: ◦ Calm, quiet, and attentive ◦ Solid obedience skills ◦ Tolerant of chaotic environments ◦ Tolerant of tugging, pulling, and exuberant handling ◦ Neutral to the presence of toys, crayons, books, and lunch remnants in trash cans ◦ What kind of animal can be a R.E.A.D. participant? Source: R.E.A.D. Manual
Contact R.E.A.D. organization and gather information on the benefits of a program of this nature. Contact libraries/schools with an established program. Get permission from your supervisor Contact a dog handler in your area. Contact information is listed on one of the handouts. Publicize, and get started!