Read with Dogs

READ with Dogs will resume in fall/winter 2014 after construction for the children’s library expansion has been completed.

No registration required. Children sign up for a 15-20 minute slot at the Children’s Desk when they arrive.

What is it? The Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) program improves children’s reading and communication skills by employing a powerful method: reading to a dog. But not just any dog. R.E.A.D. dogs are registered therapy animals who volunteer with their owner/handlers as a team, going to schools, libraries and many other settings as reading companions for children.

But why dogs? Learning to read is sometimes frustrating or intimidating for children. Animals are the ideal reading companions because they help increase relaxation and lower blood pressure, listen attentively, and do not judge or laugh or criticize. They allow children to proceed at their own pace and the experience is less intimidating than reading aloud in front of classmates or adults. The R.E.A.D. program has also increased participants’ self-esteem, and it gives children a private opportunity to practice and enjoy reading in a fun environment.

Who can do it? Children who would like to participate should be able to read on their own, but there are no qualifications for reading level. If children who cannot read want to participate, a parent or sibling can read a book to the child and dog together. Dog handlers will be with the dogs and can also help children warm up to the animals and get started reading. Children’s librarians will supply books that children can choose from, or children can bring their own books from home. The R.E.A.D. program is offered free of charge. No registration is required – just sign up at the Children’s Desk when you come.

Frequently Asked Questions and other information about the nationwide R.E.A.D. program can be found

Interested in having your dog R.E.A.D. certified? Click here for training opportunities in Kansas.

Many thanks to our wonderful volunteers and their beautiful dogs for coming to the library each week!

R.E.A.D. Volunteers

Child reading with a dogBelinda, with Bixby (Golden Retriever)

Deb, with Max (Cocker spaniel/Golden retriever mix)

Krystal, with Jupiter 

Julie, with Libby (Weimaraner) 

Susan, with Pedro or Rojo (Bichon, hypoallergenic) or Mocha (Schipperke)

If you have a therapy dog and are interested in volunteering, please contact us at 785-776-4741 ext. 125.