Reading Therapy Dogs

Reading to Rover
“Making School Fun and Reading Exciting”

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Whether it’s Reading to Rover, Kids Reading to Canines or Border Collies and Bookworms, a peaceful dog is a great friend who will listen to you read your favorite book.  We have ministered extensively to adult men recovering from alcohol and drug addictions, and have seen first hand the consequences of being a poor reader.  We are firm believers in helping and encouraging children to develop a love for reading and the ability to read at a level that is enjoyable for them.  We are products of schooling in the fifties and sixties when reading was far more popular than it is now because there were fewer choices of things to do, like iPods, cell phones, computers and digital gaming.  Children loved to read and the adventure of the bookshelf was a place where they could be absorbed for hours at a time.

“Reading therapy dogs help to improve children’s literacy by providing a non-threatening, non-judgmental audience to kids that read below the level of their peers.  Children who have trouble reading can encounter paralyzing fear when they have to read in front of the class, or in a small reading group. In fact, literacy specialists acknowledge the fact that children who are below their peers in reading skills are often intimidated by reading aloud in a group, often have lower self-esteem, and view reading as a chore.

Our goal is to create a positive, non-threatening, and fun environment in which reading is facilitated. Therapy dogs provide the ideal audience for this environment.  As a matter of fact, research with therapy animals indicates that children with low self-esteem are often more willing to interact with an animal than with another person. When reading to a therapy dog, a child becomes visibly relaxed, and blood pressure decreases.” (1) 

“Daniel Webster” is one of our eight Border Collie Therapy Dogs who loves to lie quietly at your feet while you read to him.  He is loving and trustworthy and a real gentleman.  Daniel loves people of all ages, and spent six months being the “house dog” for a drug and alcohol recovery center, where the residents fell in love with him.  He left there with a glowing letter of recommendation.  We also have Rufus, Molly, Phebe, John, Matthew, Gracie and Shechem, who love to listen while children read. 

If you would like for Daniel or one of our other dogs to come to your school to read with your RTI students, you may contact them through their owners, David and Patricia Pence, at 217-532-2859.  Please see our Contact Page for more information.

(1) Courtesy of Intermountain Therapy Animals, http://www.therapyanimals.org/read/view_article.php?articleID=88