Read to a Dog
Pima County Public Library invites you to come read to a dog.
Reading out loud improves reading skills. Animals are ideal reading companions because they create a relaxed, comfortable, and safe environment.
When can my child Read to a Dog?
|Himmel Park||Homer, Wednesdays, 4-5pm|
|Joel D Valdez Main||Saturdays, 11:30am-12:30pm|
|Joyner-Green Valley||1st Saturday each month, 12:30-1:30pm|
|Kirk-Bear Canyon||Mondays, 6-7pm|
|Martha Cooper||Click for days and times|
|Miller-Golf Links||Tuesdays, 4-5pm|
|Murphy-Wilmot||Click for days and times|
|Oro Valley||Click for days and times|
|Wheeler Taft Abbett Sr||Click for days and times|
|Woods Memorial||Emily & Lucy, Thursdays, 3-4:30pm|
How does Read to a Dog work?
Children come to library during Read to a Dog and select a book to read to a furry friend. All of the dogs and handlers who participate have been certified as therapy dogs by an accredited organization.
Find information and the application here to volunteer with Read to a Dog.
Why should my child Read to a Dog?
This program is designed to allow kids the chance to read to a non-judgmental listener, one who will accept the story exactly as they read it.
For many children, this allows them a rare chance to experience stress free reading. Once they are in this situation, children find themselves relaxing and having fun while reading! They come to think of themselves as good readers, which helps their self esteem and makes them eager to read. And eager readers practice their reading more often, leading to improved reading skill.
All of these elements work together to increase a child's motivation to read, which is an essential element in becoming a successful reader.
Children Learn to Read, with Dogs as Captive Audience by Fernanda Echavarri.
Arizona Public Media tells the story of Read to a Dog.
Meet the Dogs
How to get a dog/handler team certified for Read to a Dog
All dogs and their handlers who volunteer for the library's Read to a Dog program must be certified therapy dogs.
Three organizations that provide this certification are:
- Therapy Dogs International
- Pet Partners
- Humane Society of Southern Arizona sometimes offers Pet VIP programs.
- Therapy Dogs, Inc.
Check the websites for information about therapy dog/animal certification. The websites also list all the commands the dog must be able to do. A therapy dog is a very well-behaved dog, not a specially trained service animal. The dogs must also be calm and people focused.