Helping reluctant readers relax, build confidence and improve reading fluency. A component of our Pet Ministry Therapy Dogs program.The Perfect Paws Pet Ministry, at All Saints Episcopal Church of the North Shore, Danvers, MA, provides certified therapy dogs and their handlers to work with beginning or reluctant readers in school and library settings, pre-school and childcare facilities, after-school venues, and other learning environments. Our goal is to encourage children to relax with the animals, have fun, and grow in confidence as they read to the canines. We also work with English Language Learners (ELL) and adult nonreaders.According to research, difficulty learning how to read is frequently about apprehension, peer pressure, low self-esteem and a deficit in confidence, rather than intellectually capability. Our canine therapy dog reading companions -- with their calm demeanor and open friendliness -- encourage reluctant readers to relax and read at their own pace. When dogs come to visit for a reading session, children inevitably lose their inhibitions and willingly work to communicate with the canines by reading to them.The canines "listen" without judgment or criticism, providing a safe and inviting environment as the new readers strive to read to their new canine friends -- feeling more confident and comfortable in their abilities . The dog handlers are skilled at shifting attention from reading "performance" -- which can be daunting to the child -- to providing warm and genial support through he canine, so the child can get the supervised reading practice necessary to build vocabulary, increase reading comprehension, and gain fluency as a reader.Our dogs have been trained and tested for health, safety, appropriate skills and temperament by the renown Dog B.O.N.E.S. Therapy Dogs of Massachusetts. Our goal is to improve children’s reading and communication skills by making them comfortable ... and confident ... by reading to a dog.
The Typical* Setting:•15 minute blocks for an hour or two per session •The school, library or venue signs up children from the community, generally in the K - 6th grade age groups (Pre-school children benefit too, by enjoying being read to while they watch the dog listen attentively.)•The child picks out a book to read to the dog *In consultation with our educational consultant, we can also tailor a mini-curriculum to your needs.Happy Readers Dog Tutors:•Build respect for books •Develop interest in reading•Demonstrate appropriate animal care and treatment, and yes -- even promote good hygiene -- by saying, "Fido had his nails clipped and took a bath before coming here today."If this sounds like a good fit for you and your organization, please contact us. Thank you!
Dog B.O.N.E.S. Therapy Dogs of MA
Certified Therapy Dog Reading Companions The Perfect Paws Pet Ministry / All Saints Episcopal Church