Reading with PAWS Program
Reading with PAWS
Research with therapy animals indicates that children with low self-esteem are often more willing to interact with an animal than another person. Further, during such interaction they are inclined to forget about their limitations. There are also physiological benefits to interacting with animals, including increased relaxation and lower blood pressure.
The premise of the Reading with PAWS
program is that children will find reading to an animal less intimidating, a special time for them that is helpful and fun and will become a positive environment in which learning is facilitated.
Getting Involved With Your Pet
If you’re already a registered therapy team, consider these qualities of what a good R.E.A.D. team looks like, so you can consider whether this might be a good fit for you and your therapy companion.
Therapy Animal Qualities
• Calm, quiet, attentive and comfortable in low-key setting
• Able to deal with close and unexpected encounters with large groups of rambunctious children
• Solid obedience skills
• Tolerant of chaotic environments and sudden loud noises
• Tolerant of tugging, pulling, and exuberant handling
• Neutral to presence of toys and lunch remnants in trash baskets
Human Teammate Qualities
• Enjoy children
• Be a competent reader and love to read
• Willingness to get to know the children
• Time commitments typically are for the duration of the school year or an ongoing library program
• Grooming commitment as a desirable reading companion and role model
If you're interested in becoming a Reading with PAWS team with your pet but you aren't yet a registered therapy team check out the other resources on our website, come to a Tails of Joy meeting to find out more and meet some therapy teams, or Contact TOJ for more information.