We think it’s so great you’re interested in being part of an animal-assisted reading program! Reading with Rover loves helping people take this journey! So, where should you start?
If you have a therapy dog, you just need to find a learning environment like a school, or an after school program that would like to have a rover dog to read to. If you are local to Seattle, and you want to be on our Reading with Rover team, we are happy to help you facilitate reads for your area. It’s a lot of work but well worth it. It can take months to set up a school. It’s always helpful to get your practice with schools and venues like Redmond Town Center where we have established programs already.
We have an events page on this website that will give you all the details of future reading events. Our schools are confidential and we are happy to set you up with a shadow visit if you simply email us letting us know you would like to shadow a team for a school visit. Reading with Rover is not just a literacy program for kids, we have expanded our program to collages, crisis work and anywhere there is a need for a kind hearted dog, our D.R.E.A.M teams can do the job. We not only have an amazing group of dogs, the handlers on the other end of the leash are amazing and experienced as well. Many of our teams are certified crisis dogs as well and have volunteered during critical situations in our state of Washington.
If you are not in our area you may look up Intermountain Therapy web site and, more specifically, their R.E.A.D. pages. R.E.A.D. stands for Reading Education Assistance Dogs. The R.E.A.D. group has a great deal of experience, literature, videos and other materials that can help you get started and further your understanding of animal-assisted reading programs. Being a member of R.E.A.D can be very helpful if you are on your own trying to get the ball rolling in an area where there are no programs.
If you are located in the Seattle area, we partner with a few trainers who help prepare you to be a D.R.E.A.M member and if you email us we will direct you to the appropriate class for therapy dog preparation. If you have a puppy we have resources for that as well. We want and need therapy dog teams, please do not hesitate to call us or email us your questions.
Try querying in your favorite Internet search engine online for animal-assisted reading programs to find other existing programs. Send inquiries to them asking for any information they can provide. There are many animal-assisted reading programs throughout the entire world that simply do not publicize their activities outside their local communities. Nonetheless, they can be great sources of information — and very generous too.
Again, congratulations on your initiative and interest in children’s literacy and the wonderful world of therapy dogs!
All the best,
Becky Bishop and the entire Reading with Rover Team