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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? .

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r e a d


Reading Education

Assistance Dogs



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

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 reading companions for children.

who are we1

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

What Makes a Good Reading Dog?

Calm, quiet, and attentive

Solid obedience skills

Tolerant of chaotic environments

Tolerant of tugging, pulling, and exuberant handling

Neutral to the presence of objects in the area

why reading dogs

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

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

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.

Understanding & fluency increase.

when a r e a d dog is listening1

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

Are less intimidating than peers

you want to d o what

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

We’re Not Messy!!

All dogs must be groomed before visits.

Handlers are required to bring a blanket or rug.

behavior problems

Behavior Problems!!

Therapy dogs are tested for appropriate temperament.

Certified therapy dogs carry insurance.



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 anti-dander spray.

things to consider

Things to Consider…

Ensure that the dog is a certified therapy dog

Certain breeds of dogs are less allergenic.

Dogs can be treated with anti-dander spray.

where to find dogs more information

Where to 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

Tails U Win

today show segment

Today Show Segment

Link to Show Segment

research results

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, DonitaMassengill (2013). Man's Best Friend as a Reading Facilitator. The Reading Teacher (publication of the International Reading Association), Vol. 66, Issue 5, pp. 365-371. www.reading.orgVIEW 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.