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therapy dogs
two dogs
couple times
paws
kindergarten
t shirt
little bit
confidence
Therapy Dogs Help Kids Read
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Therapy Dogs Help Kids Read

My son is five years old and is in Kindergarten at a small private school. He is young for his class, although not the youngest, but is being considered for being held back in Kindergarten for another year. Concerned, I've started looking at all the options that are out there to help him. Yesterday, I found Be An Angel Therapy Dogs at the public library!

Therapy dogs and their handlers will go to the library a couple times each month and kids get to read to them. The reading dog is completely non-judgmental, attentive and loving, regardless of how the child reads. What a great way to get a child comfortable with reading in front of people! The child is focused on the reading dog, not the handler; but the handler is also very attentive to the child.

We had never seen this before, and my child is very standoffish. At first he refused to go into the room, preferring to watch from the other side of the window. I went into the room with two books and waited while another child read her book to the reading dog. While waiting, my son slowly started coming out of his shell. When it was his turn, he whispered the words of the book. So quietly, you could hardly hear him and he was sitting on my lap! But, he did it. He got a little bit louder toward the end of the second book (they were small easy readers and the handler said it would be okay to do two books).

I asked all about the program. The program is called "Paws to Read" (get it, pause to read). The kids get to read to the paws reading dogs and there is a reward system in place as well. For every three dog readings, the child is rewarded with a book from the library. After 18 dog readings, the child gets a t-shirt and a certificate. I realize there are other reading programs out there, however, this one seems to take the cake.

Given that the child is focused on the loving reading dog, the child's confidence grows with each book he or she reads. I'm hoping my son will start reading louder and really show his confidence after a couple of visits with these beautiful dogs. The two dogs that were there yesterday were both golden retrievers, however, there are all types of reading dogs, big and little who do this work. If your child needs a little extra confidence, I highly recommend therapy dogs to help kids read.


Street Talk

Tami, that is a great idea thanks for nice article

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

Thanks for the comment! Glad you liked it.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
William6  

Tami, I've seen this in the local library .I sit off on the sidelines and listen. You see, I had this kind of trouble at that age, so I can identify, Thanks for the article

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

William, thank you for your comment. Do you think the dogs would have helped you?

Reply
  about 6 years ago
William6  

I think so. I know I always talked to my dog a lot (best of friends and all that) I was very shy around people.

  
  about 6 years ago
Su  

Great article, Tami! First time I heard of therapy dogs:) Yes, dogs truly are man's (and boy's) best friend!

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

It is an excellent resource. Just one more tool in my toolbox for teaching him how to read, read aloud, and in front of others. Confidence building.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
Su  

Great resource indeed, as most children tend to love animals, particularly dogs, so they will be less self-conscious when around them. Keep your articles coming!

  
  about 6 years ago
Sherry B.  

I have never heard of this before...glad to hear this is helping your son. Wow, dogs can help in so many ways!

Reply
  about 6 years ago
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