The AKC B.A.R.K. (Be a Reading Kid) Program invites children of all ages to read a book of their choosing to a dog. They may read to their own dog, a dog belonging to a family member or friend, or a dog belonging to an AKC Canine Ambassador that has been approved to participate in the AKC B.A.R.K. Program.* This program is designed to provide a new activity for children to do with their dogs, ever strengthening the human-canine bond, while also providing an opportunity to improve their reading skills.
*Information about this approval process can be found here.
How It Works
The AKC B.A.R.K. Program is available to children of all ages. Children read a book of their choosing to a dog. Parents/guardians log their child’s hours on our website (information about this can be found under “Logging Information”). Once hours are submitted, the children will receive incentives based on the number of hours they read.
Visit reading.akc.org to log hours read.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the BARK Program?
The B.A.R.K. (Be A Reading Kid) Program is designed to get children reading. Children will read to a dog, parents/guardians will log their hours and children will receive incentives for hours read.
Can I read to my own dog?
Yes! If you have a dog at home, you can complete the AKC B.A.R.K. Program in the comfort of your own home. If not, AKC will provide a list of approved AKC Canine Ambassadors with dogs in your area to whom you can read.
Do the dogs who participate get recognized?
Yes! Any dog who participates in the program will receive a certificate in recognition for participating.
Where is the AKC B.A.R.K. Program offered?
This program is available all over the country. For children that do not have their own dog (or the dog of a family member/friend) to whom they can read, we will provide a list of local, approved AKC Canine Ambassadors who have been carefully vetted and are qualified to participate in this program. If you would like to find an approved AKC Canine Ambassador in your area, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is this program intended as a replacement for other canine reading programs already in existence?
Not at all! There are many wonderful canine reading programs in existence. We encourage children (and schools) to participate in as many of these as they are able. This program is primarily designed to incentivize children to read to their own dog as a way to further strengthen their bond, while also giving them a non-critical audience to which to read. While we do provide a list of approved Canine Ambassadors for children that do not have their own dog (or dog of a family member/friend) to which to read, this program is not designed to replace existing canine reading programs.
We encourage canine reading programs to provide us with information about their organization so that we may share it with the general public. Canine reading organizations interested in being recognized by AKC Education may do so by filling out this form.
Recognized Canine Reading Organizations
Name of Organization Website About the Organization Sit! Stay! Read! Morris Elem. District 54 www.morris54.org Once a month a group of volunteer therapy dog teams gather in the school library to read with elementary aged students. This organization has eleven handlers with sixteen dogs who visit children during the school year.
*Canine reading organizations interested in being recognized by AKC Education may do so by filling out this form.
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