Thursday, April 5, 2012

Reading buddies: Therapy dogs' attention helps children bolster skills, confidence

The wonderful READ dogs of West TN Therapy Dogs made an appearance in the Commercial Appeal appeal this week! I am so excited to share this fantastic news with all of my loyal readers! West TN Therapy Dogs is a terrific organization of therapy dogs and handlers who enjoy volunteering their time throughout the community, and sharing smiles with others! Therapy dogs can help others in many different facets through Animal Assisted Activities and Animal Assisted Therapy. Ranger and I recently had the opportunity to become members of West TN Therapy Dogs, and we couldn't be happier! (Ranger is currently on medical leave right now, but is looking forward to getting back to work soon!)

Our READ dogs are registered through Intermountain Therapy Animal's READ program. READ, is a program that encourages young and often hesitant readers to enhance their skills through non-judgemental reading sessions with specially trained therapy dog teams. The dogs can help the children sound out tough words, provide stress relief though being petted, and even their mere presence instills encouragement! The calm disposition of the dogs puts the children at ease, and offers a non-judgemental way to make learning a fun experience! The dogs never laugh at a stutter or a mispronounced word; they offer up kisses and comfort. As a result, young readers learn to embrace their newfound skills and seek out more opportunities to read and learn. What a wonderful thing!

Please be sure to check out the Commercial Appeal article I've linked below. We have a wonderful group of therapy dogs that love visiting with others throughout our community! If you are local and have a child that would enjoy reading to a therapy dog, please stop by for a visit! We READ every Saturday to children of all ages from 1:00-3:00pm at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, and the fourth Saturday of each month from 10:00-12:00pm to registered children ages 5-11 years old at the Bartlett Branch. Want to learn more about West TN Therapy Dogs? Visit:

Reading buddies: Therapy dogs' attention helps children bolster skills, confidence

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