SHARE Reading Dogs Program

SHARE Reading Dogs is a program that aims to motivate and encourage students with reading difficulties. SHARE – which stands for ‘Special Human-Animal Relationships in Education’ – involves a dog and its handler working with students who are in need of a little extra help with their reading in class.

The program provides students with the opportunity to read aloud to the ‘reading dog’ for a set amount of time each week. Reading aloud to a ‘non-judgmental’ audience such as dog has shown to give students extra confidence and motivation, especially those who struggle with reading.

A bond is encouraged between the child and the dog by having the same child read to the same dog each week. The dog allows children to gain confidence and self esteem by providing his or her attention in an atmosphere free of criticism. Such an environment allows children to feel less self-conscious, as dogs don’t worry if a child stutters or mispronounces a word. Similar programs have been implemented in schools in the United States, New Zealand and Europe and have shown to be very effective in improving students’ negative associations with reading, increasing motivation levels, improving confidence and self esteem as well as skill levels in reading aloud.

Schools interested in becoming involved with the SHARE Reading Dogs Program, should contact the AWLQ Education Division, or download the School Registration form and Teacher’s Handbook below.
If you are interested in becoming a SHARE Reading Dogs volunteer, and you think you may have a dog who would be appropriate for the program, please contact the Education Division or download the Volunteer Registration form and Volunteer’s Handbook below.