Do you remember that “Ah-hah!” moment as a child when suddenly the words on the page made sense after months of trying to learn how to read? That moment when you stopped guessing by looking at the pictures on the page and it just clicked for you… and suddenly you could read?
Imagine a child who struggles with school. He’s terrified of being chosen to read out loud in class; afraid of making a mistake and looking stupid in front of his friends and classmates; frustrated with not being able to figure out the words and discouraged at facing the same problem day after day without making a breakthrough… without finally hitting that “Ah-hah!” moment when reading clicks and falls into place.
Many children are facing just that struggle. And without the right help at the right time, they lose that hard-fought battle and spend the rest of their lives trying to catch up.
Reading Education Assistance Dogs® (R.E.A.D.®) can help. A unique literacy initiative, Ottawa Therapy Dogs’ R.E.A.D. program improves children’s reading and communication skills by employing a powerful method: reading to a dog. But not just any dog.
Our R.E.A.D. dogs are registered, insured therapy animals who volunteer with their owner/handler as a team in schools and libraries across the National Capital Region as reading companions for children. While dogs may not be able to read, they make great listeners. Their relaxed, nonjudgmental presence creates an inviting and motivating environment that is comfortable, safe, empowering and FUN!
The concept is simple, but the results are compelling. Local children who participate in the R.E.A.D. program make enormous strides in reading and communication skills while building self-esteem, confidence and social skills along the way. And that means everyone wins the literacy battle.
R.E.A.D. hits News!
Teachers give R.E.A.D. top marks!
Ottawa Therapy Dogs has nearly 20 R.E.A.D. teams visiting local schools and libraries. Find out how the program works and what educators think about this remarkable literacy program.
Children love R.E.A.D.ing
Kids, check out your favourite R.E.A.D. dog’s photo and profile, read ‘love’ letters that kids have written to our dogs… and find out about upcoming library programs!
Parents agree – the R.E.A.D.
Parents often have a few questions (and raised eyebrows!) when asked for permission for their child to read with a dog at school. Find out why parents become some of our biggest fans!