Read to a Dog

Children reading 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 ParkHomer, Wednesdays, 4-5pm
Joel D Valdez MainSaturdays, 11:30am-12:30pm
Joyner-Green Valley1st Saturday each month, 12:30-1:30pm
Kirk-Bear CanyonMondays, 6-7pm
Martha CooperClick for days and times
Miller-Golf LinksTuesdays, 4-5pm
Murphy-WilmotClick for days and times
NaniniClick for days and times
Oro ValleyClick for days and times
ValenciaWednesdays, 3:30-4:30pm
Wheeler Taft Abbett SrClick for days and times
Woods MemorialEmily & 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:

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.

Pima County Website