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Therapy Dogs Helping
Children to Love Reading
Presented by
Harriet Schleifer
Co-founder, Blue Ribbon Therapy Dogs
and
Banquise’s Brandy’s Touch
Foundation Dog
THE DOG
LISTENS!
Willow reading with a young girl at the
Sunshine Academy in Dollard-des-
Ormeaux
THE SCIENCE
Corinne Serra Smith, doctoral dissertation, National-Louis
university, Chicago 2009
152 students in Sit Stay Read programme.
20% increase in oral reading fluency compared to control group
of 98 students
Positive reactions from teachers and students
THE SCIENCE
 University of California – Davis Veterinary Medicine Extension, 2010
Study involved groups of third grade students and home-schooled children.
Children read to dogs once a week for 15 minutes for 10 weeks.
Oral Test Reading for Comprehension Test administered before and after to
evaluate reading fluency.
Third graders improved 12%, home-schooled children 30% compared to
control group (0%).
Brandy reading with a young boy
at the Côte-St-Luc Library
Photo courtesy of The Gazette
READING SKILLS: THE BENEFITS OF
READING DOGS
 EXTRA PRACTICE WITH READING AND ORAL SKILLS
 INCREASED WILLINGNESS TO READ ALOUD
 MOTIVATION TO READ MORE
 ENCOURAGEMENT TO READ MORE DIFFICULT BOOKS
 INCREASE IN READING FLUENCY
THE JOY OF
READING TO A
CANINE FRIEND
A young girl shares a a special
passage in her book with Brandy.
Photo by Fay Zeira
The magic of canine reassurance
The child reaches for the
comforting presence of the
therapy dog while reading a
difficult passage.
Photo by Fay Zeira
EMOTIONAL BENEFITS OF
THERAPY DOG PROGRAMMES
 ENJOYABLE AND FUN FOR CHILDREN
 KIDS FEEL SAFE AND REASSURED BY THE DOG’S PRESENCE
 PETTING THE DOG CALMS THE CHILD
 SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT AND PRIDE
 INCREASED CONFIDENCE AND FEELING OF LEADERSHIP
 JUDGMENT-FREE ENVIRONMENT
SOCIAL BENEFITS OF
INTERACTION WITH
THERAPY DOGS
 COMMUNICATION SKILLS ARE IMPROVED
 CHILDREN LEARN KINDNESS AND EMPATHY
 PARTICIPANTS SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES
A FRIENDLY CANINE EAR Photo by Fay Zeira
DISSENTERS AND RESPONSES
TO THEIR CONCERNS
QUESTIONS
 “Dogs are dirty and messy.”
 “Dogs cannot behave well
enough to be in a library.”
 “People have allergies”
ANSWERS
 Therapy dogs are groomed
before visits and bathed
frequently. They may sit on a
blanket or mat.
 Therapy dogs are tested to
ensure polite, appropriate
behaviour. Certified dogs carry
an insurance policy.
 Reading dogs work in a clearly
marked, designated area.
BLUE RIBBON THERAPY DOGS
OUR PROGRAMME INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:
 Dogs attend obedience training classes
 Dogs and handlers are carefully evaluated
by experienced professional dog trainers
 Successful teams must attend an
orientation session and continuing
education seminars
 References and police checks are required
 A minimum of three supervised visits are
required before the team visits on their
own
 Dogs are identified by vests and handlers
by shirts when visiting. A one-piece soft
martingale leash is required for safety.
LIBRARY DOGS.COM

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Harriet Schleifer. Therapy Dogs Helping Children to Love Reading, abqla2015

  • 2. Presented by Harriet Schleifer Co-founder, Blue Ribbon Therapy Dogs and Banquise’s Brandy’s Touch Foundation Dog
  • 3. THE DOG LISTENS! Willow reading with a young girl at the Sunshine Academy in Dollard-des- Ormeaux
  • 4. THE SCIENCE Corinne Serra Smith, doctoral dissertation, National-Louis university, Chicago 2009 152 students in Sit Stay Read programme. 20% increase in oral reading fluency compared to control group of 98 students Positive reactions from teachers and students
  • 5. THE SCIENCE  University of California – Davis Veterinary Medicine Extension, 2010 Study involved groups of third grade students and home-schooled children. Children read to dogs once a week for 15 minutes for 10 weeks. Oral Test Reading for Comprehension Test administered before and after to evaluate reading fluency. Third graders improved 12%, home-schooled children 30% compared to control group (0%).
  • 6. Brandy reading with a young boy at the Côte-St-Luc Library Photo courtesy of The Gazette
  • 7. READING SKILLS: THE BENEFITS OF READING DOGS  EXTRA PRACTICE WITH READING AND ORAL SKILLS  INCREASED WILLINGNESS TO READ ALOUD  MOTIVATION TO READ MORE  ENCOURAGEMENT TO READ MORE DIFFICULT BOOKS  INCREASE IN READING FLUENCY
  • 8. THE JOY OF READING TO A CANINE FRIEND A young girl shares a a special passage in her book with Brandy. Photo by Fay Zeira
  • 9. The magic of canine reassurance The child reaches for the comforting presence of the therapy dog while reading a difficult passage. Photo by Fay Zeira
  • 10. EMOTIONAL BENEFITS OF THERAPY DOG PROGRAMMES  ENJOYABLE AND FUN FOR CHILDREN  KIDS FEEL SAFE AND REASSURED BY THE DOG’S PRESENCE  PETTING THE DOG CALMS THE CHILD  SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT AND PRIDE  INCREASED CONFIDENCE AND FEELING OF LEADERSHIP  JUDGMENT-FREE ENVIRONMENT
  • 11. SOCIAL BENEFITS OF INTERACTION WITH THERAPY DOGS  COMMUNICATION SKILLS ARE IMPROVED  CHILDREN LEARN KINDNESS AND EMPATHY  PARTICIPANTS SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES
  • 12. A FRIENDLY CANINE EAR Photo by Fay Zeira
  • 13. DISSENTERS AND RESPONSES TO THEIR CONCERNS QUESTIONS  “Dogs are dirty and messy.”  “Dogs cannot behave well enough to be in a library.”  “People have allergies” ANSWERS  Therapy dogs are groomed before visits and bathed frequently. They may sit on a blanket or mat.  Therapy dogs are tested to ensure polite, appropriate behaviour. Certified dogs carry an insurance policy.  Reading dogs work in a clearly marked, designated area.
  • 14. BLUE RIBBON THERAPY DOGS OUR PROGRAMME INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:  Dogs attend obedience training classes  Dogs and handlers are carefully evaluated by experienced professional dog trainers  Successful teams must attend an orientation session and continuing education seminars  References and police checks are required  A minimum of three supervised visits are required before the team visits on their own  Dogs are identified by vests and handlers by shirts when visiting. A one-piece soft martingale leash is required for safety.