R.E.A.D. Reading Education Assistance Dogs Mission The mission of the R.E.A.D. program is to improve the literacy skills of children through the assistance of registered therapy teams as literacy mentors. Who Are We? R.E.A.D. companions are registered therapy animals who volunteer with their owner/handlers as a team, going to schools, libraries and many other settings as Who Are We? R.E.A.D. dogs are therapy animals who have been trained and tested for health, safety, appropriate skills and temperament. What Makes a Good Reading Dog? Calm, quiet, and attentive Solid obedience skills Tolerant of chaotic environments Tolerant of tugging, pulling, and exuberant Why Reading Dogs? Kids just love dogs! When they read to them, that positive emotion is associated with reading. Knowing the dog is waiting provides an incentive. Positive impact on kids with attention difficulties, disruptive behavior, and disinterest in reading How Do Kids Benefit? Improvea reading skills Improves communication skills Instills a love of reading Improves self-confidence and self-esteem When a R.E.A.D. Dog is Listening… The environment changes; kids feel safe and reassured when cuddling with a dog; Dread is replaced by anticipation. The handler provides support without pressure. The child gets practice. Learning occurs. Vocabulary builds. When a R.E.A.D. Dog is Listening… Relaxation increases and blood pressure lowers Listen attentively Don’t judge, laugh or criticize Allow children to proceed at their own pace You Want To Do WHAT??? Dogs are too messy for libraries! Dogs don’t behave well enough for libraries! What about allergies?? We’re Not Messy!! All dogs must be groomed before visits. Handlers are required to bring a blanket or rug. Behavior Problems!! Therapy dogs are tested for appropriate temperament. Certified therapy dogs carry insurance. Allergies?!?! Some children are allergic and may have to avoid the library on dog days. Certain breeds of dogs are less allergenic. Dogs can be treated with antidander spray. Things to Consider… Ensure that the dog is a certified therapy dog Certain breeds of dogs are less allergenic. Dogs can be treated with antidander spray. Find Dogs & More Information Pet Partners (formerly Delta Society) Tails of Joy Love on a Leash Therapy Dogs International Library Dogs Intermountain Therapy Animals Paws n Effect Today Show Segment Link to Show Segment Research & Results Lane, H. B., Zavada, S.D. (2013). When Reading Gets Ruff: Canine-Assisted Reading Programs. The Reading Teacher, International Reading Association, Vol 67, Issue 2. Friesen, L. (2013). The Gifted Child as Cheetah: A Unique Animal-Assisted Literacy Program. The Latham Letter, Vol. XXXIV, No. 1, pp. 6-10, Winter 2013. VIEW PDF Shaw, Donita Massengill (2013). Man's Best Friend as a Reading Facilitator. The Reading Teacher (publication of the International Reading Association), Vol. 66, Issue 5, pp. 365371. www.reading.org VIEW PDF Friesen, L. (2012). Animal-assisted literacy learning as carnival: A Bakhtinian analysis. The International Journal of Learning, 18(3),305-324. Friesen, L. & Delisle, E. (2012, March/April). Animal-assisted literacy: A supportive environment for constrained and unconstrained learning. Childhood Education International, 102-107. Friesen, L. (2010). Animals in children's literature: A powerful motivator for literacy learning. Focus on Elementary: Association for Childhood Education International, 22(2), 1-7. Friesen, L. (2009). Exploring animal-assisted programs with children in school and therapeutic contexts. Early Childhood Education Journal, 37(4), 261-267. Friesen, L. (2009). How a therapy dog may inspire student literacy engagement in the elementary language arts classroom. [Special issue.] LEARNing Landscapes, 3(1), 105-122.