Learning to read can be intimidating for children. They often feel anxious about reading aloud for fear they might embarrass themselves by making mistakes. Many children have benefited from programs that are offering students a non-judgmental reading buddy…dogs!
A study conducted by the University of California in 2010 proved that students who read to animals for 15 to 20 minutes one time per week for eight weeks increased reading skills by 12% to 20%. Not only did these students improve their reading skills, but teachers reported that these students demonstrated more self-confidence and participated more in class.
While canine reading buddies may not be right for each school or every child, they have been a wonderful addition to many classrooms, libraries and bookstores.
If you are interested in seeing if a canine reading buddy might be right for your students, you can find therapy dogs near you here: AKC Therapy Dogs
Smith MH, Meehan C. All ears reading program and home-schooled youth Final report: UCD Veterinary Medicine Extension, University of California, CA; 2010. Available: https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/11807739/all-ears-readingtm-tony-la-russas-animal-rescue-foundation.
Therapy Dog Organizations. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.akc.org/events/title-recognition-program/therapy/organizations/.