Will you come to our local library, school, hospital or visit with a student individually?

While we do not offer programs to individual students or in the hospital setting, and our opportunities for new school and library partnerships are very limited each year, feel free to email us at info@sitstayread.org to inquire about possible collaboration.

Do you have locations in my city, county, or school?

Check out this map to see our current program locations.

What kind of programming do you have in the summer?

We offer limited, shorter-run versions of our Tail Blazers and Poetry programs in community center settings throughout the summer. Be sure to fill out the Volunteer Application, so that you can be the first to know about summer volunteer opportunities.

How about SitStayRead with cats?

While we love cats and animals of all types here at SitStayRead, all of our programming is built around the bond between people and dogs specifically.

Where do the dogs come from? Who owns the dogs?

All of the Certified Reading Assistance Dogs in our programs are volunteer-owned!

Can I come in to pet and play with your dogs?

SitStayRead does not own any of the Certified Reading Assistance Dogs who volunteer in our programs, so you won’t find them here at our office.
If you're looking for an opportunity to take care of some dogs who really need the love, check out our friends at One Tail at a Time!

Do you take book donations? Where can I find a list of books you are looking for?

Yes, we always love to have donations! We have an Amazon Wishlist under SitStayRead.org. Our students are in 1st-3rd grade, and books with diverse characters are always appreciated.

I am a teacher/administrator in Chicago, how do I get SitStayRead in my classroom/school?

SitStayRead programs are provided at no cost to the partner school or parent. To ensure that our resources are going where they are most needed, it is important to us that schools seeking partnership with SitStayRead meet certain criteria. We look for new partner schools where the student population is at least 90% low-income, and where 60% of third graders are reading below grade-level. These criteria confirm that we are providing critical reading and writing help to those who are most in need. Please email info@sitstayread.org to inquire about potential partnership.


How Do I Become a SitStayRead Volunteer?

Click here to learn more about our volunteer roles and to fill out our Volunteer Application!

Do I have to have a dog?

No! We have many essential volunteer opportunities in the classroom for people without dogs.

Can I volunteer in your office?

We post all of our in-office volunteer needs in our Weekly Volunteer Newsletter. Be sure to fill out the Volunteer Application, so that you can be the first to know about in-office volunteer opportunities.

Do you have evening and weekend volunteer opportunities?

We have very limited evening or weekend opportunities. If you're interested in learning more about how to volunteer with us at festivals, fairs and family literacy events, go here to fill out our Volunteer Application and select Community Outreach Team!

I’m interested in being an intern with SSR. Who should I contact?

Depending on need, we accept interns on a rolling basis. Please feel free to email a resume and cover letter detailing your interest and experience to info@sitstayread.org with the subject line ‘Internship Application’.

Do you provide transportation to schools?

Due to our limited resources, we do not offer transportation to our school locations at this time.

If transportation is a concern, please fill out the application and email us - hopefully we can help find a carpool or rideshare option for you!

How do you certify the dogs?

All Certified Reading Assistance Dogs in our programs have been certified by our Dog Team Evaluator and Volunteer Coordinator via our Dog Team Test. All prospective Dog Team handlers must go through all necessary training before bringing their Certified Reading Assistance Dog into the classroom.

What skills does my dog need to know to be in SitStayRead? Are there any age/breed/size restrictions?

The Certified Reading Assistance Dogs in our programs have to have the right temperament for the environment that they will be in, and have the right behavior for our programs. The school and classroom environment can be stressful and overwhelming for dogs, so we look for dogs who can succeed in those circumstances, as well as active handlers who can help their dogs succeed. We also look for dogs with good recall skills, that enjoy being around children, that have great obedience skills, and that can be calm and settled around other dogs (although the dogs never socialize with other dogs during our programs, they need to be okay with being in the same environment).

The dogs that succeed best in the classroom are those who have a calm and ‘chill’ temperament, who don’t need a lot of attention from their handler during the session (as the handler will be interacting with students during each visit), and those who don’t get overstimulated by interactions with adults and children and loud noises.

To be considered for certification, the dog must be at least 1 year old. Based on their temperament, it is often suggested to wait until your dog has turned 2 or 3. We do not have any breed or size restrictions.

Does my dog have to be spayed/neutered/vaccinated to participate?

We require all dogs to be spayed/neutered and to be up-to-date on the following vaccines/tests:

Rabies Vaccination (1 or 3 year vaccination)
DHLPP (Distemper, Hepatitis [CAV-2], Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus [combined canine vaccine])
Fecal (stool sample must show negative test result)
Bordetella Vaccine

Is SitStayRead a therapy dog program? Are the dogs certified with SitStayRead considered therapy dogs?

Although we use many animal-assisted therapy techniques in our programs, SitStayRead Certified Reading Assistance Dogs are not considered certified therapy dogs, and we are not a therapy dog program. If you're looking to get into therapy dog work, SitStayRead is a great stepping stone for you and your dog to get a sense of what therapy work involves! If you're looking for a great therapy dog organization in Chicago, we highly recommend our friends at Canine Therapy Corps!


Are you funded by/part of the Chicago Public School system or by the State or Federal Government?

No. We receive all of our funding from generous individual, foundation, and corporate supporters.

I would love to work for SitStayRead. How can I apply?

We post all available positions on our website. Depending on need, we do accept interns on a rolling basis. Please feel free to email a resume and cover letter detailing your interest and experience to info@sitstayread.org with the subject line ‘Internship Application’.

How can I make a donation, would it be tax-deductible?

Yes, SitStayRead is a 501(c)3, and all donations are tax-deductible. Check out our donation page for more information.