Kids and K9s

Why It Works

  • Children with confidence issues or low self-esteem are often are more willing to interact with an animal than another person. During such interaction they are inclined to forget about their limitations.

  • Working with animals is remarkably effective with students who have attention difficulties, disruptive behaviors, or a general lack of interest in reading.

  • Children find reading to an aminal less intimidating, a special time for them that is helpful and fun. A positive environment in which learning is facilitated.

  • Research shows that work with therapy dogs can build motivation, maintain focus, and increase task persistence.

  • The presence of a calm and well-trained dog offers a unique form of social support.

How It Works

The purpose of Kids and K9s Reading Together is to give children the opportunity to practice their reading fluency and gain confidence by reading to dogs that love stories and are enthusiastic listeners.

  • All dog/handler teams participating in the program are certified Therapy Dogs.

  • The dog and child are supervised at all times by the dog's handler.

  • The dog handler is not a reading teacher or reading coach, but will provide minimal reading assistance if the child initiates the interaction.

  • The child chooses something fun and comfortable to read to the dog before their appointment, this reading time is for pleasure.

  • Participants in the program must be registered by an adult.

Therapy Dogs

Three Therapy Dogs International, Inc.-certified therapy dog/dog handler teams currently participate in the Kids and K9s program at the library. This program, begun with Mrs. Beth Mills and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Bree in the spring of 2008, is continuing with the support of the Olean Kennel Club.