?Using Therapy Dogs to Promote Children's Reading Practice
Using Therapy dogs in schools can boost reading practice in several ways. Children who are struggling with reading often benefit from their presence and the positive reinforcement from a trained dog. Children also experience an increased desire to learn and read when they interact with a dog. However, using these animals in the classroom requires strong leadership and commitment. In this article, we will discuss how these animals can benefit students' reading practice.
Therapy dogs provide support and comfort to children struggling with reading
Besides helping with reading practice, therapy dogs can also help kids with behavioral problems, hygiene, and self-esteem. Visiting a library can give these kids the opportunity to meet their new best friend. And if your child struggles with reading, a therapy dog will help them overcome these issues. Using dogs as therapy assistants at the library is a fantastic way to help children learn to love books.
The therapy dogs help kids overcome difficulties in school and in life by providing unconditional love and support. Seeing a dog at school can encourage children to read, boosting their self-esteem and self-confidence. Children may also feel more confident in public settings, which is good for their social development. These benefits can last a lifetime. The READ program has trained over 3,500 teams of therapy dogs and handlers who have been working with children to encourage reading and foster a love of reading.
School leaders should support the program and encourage participation by other school staff. A strong leadership model is essential for a successful therapy dog program implementation. The school's staff should have a strong leadership style, be goal-oriented, and be committed to meeting program goals. Furthermore, a successful program should involve the entire community and engage the community. The best program has a strong sense of inclusion. The dogs should be trained and vetted by the appropriate organizations.
When deciding to use a therapy dog at a school, teachers, reading specialists, librarians, and therapy dog handlers should work with a child's reading level and interests. Then, the dog handler can match books that the child will enjoy. Research supports this method, as it helps to provide struggling readers with texts that are "considerate" of their reading difficulties. Ultimately, therapy dogs provide the social emotional support and comfort needed for struggling students to become more confident readers.
Many kids find it easy to read with a dog in the room, thanks to the positive influence of the dog on the child. In fact, children with disabilities are more likely to be eager to practice reading with a dog in the classroom. In one school, a child with Aspergers syndrome referred to as Maggie, got to know the power of therapy dogs by spending time with a therapy dog. The teacher sent home written prompts to encourage communication between the child and the therapy dog. When the child saw the dog and the animal, he spontaneously told the mother about the sessions.
The Delta Society's Pet Partner Program provides guidance to handlers who want to implement a therapy dog program at a school. Handlers must complete background checks and training classes and coordinate with multiple agencies. They should also be able to communicate with parents and ensure that the program is accessible to parents. When implementing a therapy dog program at a school, ensure that the program is accessible to parents and has a recording so they can view it at home.
They increase a child's desire and ability to read
In a study, a child was assigned to a group that had a therapy dog read to them for 30 minutes a week. The other group, the control group, read from the same textbook and was not exposed to the therapy dog. Both groups were assessed at baseline and eight weeks later, and reading-skill scores and attitudes towards reading were measured at each visit. The study found that while the dogs did not make a significant difference in reading ability, the children's attitudes towards academic reading improved significantly.
There are several benefits to using therapy dogs in schools. They help a child develop a love of reading and learning. They also help a child deal with behavior issues, self-esteem, and hygiene issues. The dogs themselves benefit as well. Some dogs even improve a child's confidence and self-esteem. These are all positive outcomes for children, parents, and the community. If you are interested in volunteering with a therapy dog program, you should contact your local library or school and inquire about the availability of volunteer positions.
While it may sound like a fun activity, dog reading therapy can be a very effective literacy-enhancing experience. A trained therapy dog can improve a child's reading skills by as much as 30% when regularly scheduled sessions take place. This is an effective intervention for improving literacy in the United States. The Intermountain Therapy Animals Reading Education Assistance Dogs program, which began in 1996, is one of the most well-known programs in this field.
READ supporters argue that reading to a dog improves a child's motivation to read and helps to reduce a child's blood pressure. The study did not find any evidence to support this theory, but the research does suggest that the benefits of reading to a dog may outweigh the negative effects. In addition, the study does not provide any evidence from comparisons of children with the same learning disabilities.
In addition, the presence of a dog may reduce a child's anxiety levels. The presence of the dog also lowers blood pressure during reading and during rest. It also reduces anxiety, which is important for improving reading. However, more research is necessary to confirm the positive effects of reading to a dog. It is important to keep in mind that research findings can only support positive outcomes when the study design is based on evidence of pedagogical benefits.
They require strong leadership
School administrators should begin by inviting volunteers to bring therapy dogs into the school. Dogs are not expected to do the reading for children, and school leaders must be aware of their needs. The handlers must be prepared to respond to unexpected situations and provide ad hoc support and debriefing as needed. Effective implementation requires ongoing collaboration, clear communication, and commitment to addressing any concerns as they arise.
Early engagement of parents is important to the success of the program. Parents will have concerns regarding the safety of the dogs, and should be informed of the procedures. Written consent must also be provided before the dogs are brought into the school. The process should also involve a thorough review of school policies. After all, the dogs are a valuable addition to the school community. If children are not engaged with the program, it will be difficult to measure the effectiveness of the intervention.
The therapy dog program will provide a unique opportunity for the dog to interact with young children. It can enhance literacy skills in children, and dogs are reliable toilet trainers. The handlers must be aware of their dog's signals and clean up any excrement. They must also dispose of it appropriately. Therapy dogs require strong leadership to promote children's reading practice. This program may be a great fit for a local school or library.
While Pruitt had a successful career in the science department, she began working with therapy dogs and training them. She and her dogs passed certification tests, but she wanted more training for her dogs. So she began researching graduate programs at Lamar University. She found an online M.Ed. in School Counseling program at the university she attended, so she could still continue her work. She began attending conferences related to therapy dogs and doing research through her graduate program.
Before a dog can work with a child, it must be trained as a therapy dog team. During this training, they learn to work with children in a nonjudgmental environment. Anderson-Wright calls therapy dogs exceptional animals capable of performing various tasks. By focusing on reading, therapy dogs can help children improve their literacy skills. The therapy dog program has been able to help more than three thousand registered therapy dog teams across the country.
Although the study's sample size was small, it highlights several issues that may affect the implementation of a therapy dog program. It also identifies challenges and facilitator factors in a school's environment. These issues were addressed in semi-structured interviews and online surveys with the perspectives of selected school staff. The analysis included an evaluation of the participants' experiences with the program, and in-depth discussions with another researcher.
1) Adams, M. J. 1990. Beginning to read: Thinking and learning about print, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
2) Allington, R. L. and McGill-Franzen, A. 2003. The impact of summer setback on the reading achievement gap. Phi Delta Kappan, 85(1): 68–75.
3) Block, C. C. and Pressley, M., eds. 2002. Comprehension instruction: Research-based best practices, New York: Guilford.
By : Ülkü
Ülkü is a nurse with veterinary training. She specializes in the social behavior of dogs after veterinary training.