Friday, March 02, 2007

Rhode Island Schools Go to the Dogs!

I've never heard of"Literacy Dogs" but doggone it, there is a school in Cranston that has one. This is part of a nation-wide program called "Reading Education Assitance Dogs." Here is their brochure.

"They really love reading to Henry,' she said [Charlene Lataille, a speech pathologist]. 'A lot of the children like to snuggle up against him. Some have never patted a dog before, and we have heard from some parents that they now practice for Henry at home by reading books to their stuffed animals.'”

"The mission of the R.E.A.D. program is to improve the literacy skills of children through the assistance of registered Pet Partner® therapy teams as literacy mentors." And good news - cats and even birds have been trained to take part in the program. Farm animals also take part. I know that Simmons Farm sometimes has a summer program stressing literacy skills.

Animals have to be obedience trained, then lessons in being a general-service dog and finally schooling on how to be a literacy companion to be part of this program.

For all the librarians & dog lovers out there here is another article from "School Library Journal."

The Potter League has a similar program, "Reading Fur Fun", but more limited in its scope.

Thanks to Projo for the Article & pic

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have a certified therapy dog (TDI) and we can not find a location to volunteer! I have phone library's and school departments in the Providence area with no luck. If anyone knows of any locations in our area looking for a therapy team please contact me at