The R.E.A.D.® Therapy Program
In the R.E.A.D. (Reading Education Assistance Dogs) therapy program, our teams of trained owners and their Delta-registered dogs or cats visit Chicago western suburban libraries, schools, and after school programs. Teams work with children to foster their love of reading.
During a typical session, the child sits comfortably on a blanket with the team. The child then reads to the pet while the owner asks the child comprehension, vocabulary, and pronunciation questions, framing them from the pet. For example, “Fido is getting pretty excited! Can you tell him what you think will happen next?” Or, “Fido can’t read that word, it is too difficult. Can you sound it out for him?” This program really works because children feel relaxed, comfortable, and safe with pets. Pets are fun! They don’t laugh at mistakes.
R.E.A.D. visits typically last about an hour and are made on weekday evenings and Saturdays. Teams typically make one visit a month, but some volunteers enjoy going more often.
All human volunteers must pass a R.E.A.D. qualifying test with Intermountain Therapy Animals, which ensures they have the educational skills required to engage the child and aid in their reading. All pets must have Delta registration. The Hinsdale Humane Society regularly offers R.E.A.D. program orientation for you and your Delta pet, training manuals, and assistance with the registration process.