CERTIFIED READING ASSISTANCE DOGS

 
  Dog Team volunteer Ms. Lisa and her Certified Reading Assistance Dog Allie listen to second-grade student Inez read one of her stories out loud. (J. Sall)

Dog Team volunteer Ms. Lisa and her Certified Reading Assistance Dog Allie listen to second-grade student Inez read one of her stories out loud. (J. Sall)

Why dogs in the classroom?

There are countless benefits of using dogs as a tool in SitStayRead's literacy programs.

In addition to giving students a fun, positive association with reading and writing, dogs also provide numerous physical and mental health benefits. Studies have shown that interacting with a dog helps to lower blood pressure and cortisol levels. This helps students feel more comfortable, less stressed, and better able to focus on their work.

SitStayRead dogs provide a non-judgmental sounding board for out-loud reading. Students who get the chance to read out loud to one of the Certified Reading Assistance Dogs in their classroom are less likely to feel worried about making mistakes, which helps them to become more confident readers! 

  Second-grader Melanie reads out loud to Dog Team volunteer, Ms. Kristen, and her Certified Reading Assistance Dog, Carter. (M. OBrien)

Second-grader Melanie reads out loud to Dog Team volunteer, Ms. Kristen, and her Certified Reading Assistance Dog, Carter. (M. OBrien)

SitStayRead Certified Reading Assistance Dogs

SitStayRead Dog Team handlers go through extensive training to prepare for their in-classroom work, and must pass the SitStayRead Dog Team Test with their pup. This evaluation was created in partnership with a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, to ensure that every dog in our program meets our standards.

Dog Teams not only help students with reading, but also help them develop critical social-emotional skills like empathy and self-control, while deepening their understanding on how to care for and be safe around dogs. Students get to know the SitStayRead Certified Reading Assistance Dogs and often ask about them year after year!