The Paws for Reading Program places dogs in a classroom or library setting in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. The dogs act as an incentive for the children to read more and to read better. Dogs are viewed as a non-threatening entity to promote reading, writing, and increased interaction and social skills in the child. As a result, children experience higher reading levels, higher levels of word recognition and well as word comprehension.
The dogs used in this program are especially calm and unobtrusive and settle in as part of the class. The children view the dogs as lovable and non-judgmental, which are the keys to success in this program. Children report that the dogs give them confidence because the dog does not make fun of them if they read slowly or mess up pronouncing a word. The dogs are great listeners and give the child a sense of comfort while reading. Children have been known to practice with their personal pets at home in preparation for the Paws for Reading dogs.
Support Dogs, Inc. has developed an incentive program for the classroom in which children that read a specific number of books receive a special book of their choosing and a certificate signed by the canine classmate. The incentive program can stand alone or be used in conjunction with a current incentive program already being offered by the school.
If you are interested in starting a Paws for Reading program in your school, please contact Support Dogs today.