There is an exciting program here in the Northwest that involves kids, dogs and literacy. The program is called Reading with Rover.
Reading with Rover is a community-based literacy program volunteering in the schools, bookstores and libraries in the Puget Sound area of Washington State. It is our goal, as volunteers and founders of Reading with Rover, to make the “Rover” program available to all schools, reading and learning facilities that would like to enhance their reading programs.
In the “Rover” program, children with reading difficulties actually read stories to a dog and the dog loves listening! A child who may be hesitant to read aloud to his peers is typically less stressed when reading to a dog and the dog never judges the child’s reading ability.
WHERE IS READING WITH ROVER NOW?
The Reading with Rover program is now in six school districts in the State of Washington. The kids are experiencing some of the many benefits of reading to dogs, such as:
- An increased comfort in reading aloud
- The achievement of higher reading levels
- More empathy and enhanced social skills
- Improved confidence and less shyness
Just for fun, Reading with Rover is also doing reading sessions at libraries and bookstores around the Pacific Northwest. Several times each month dogs can be found in the children’s section of the bookstores, for example. Kids are welcome to pick out a book, pick out a dog and sit, down, stay and read, read, read! This is a great opportunity for people who want to volunteer with their well-mannered pooch and only have evening or weekend hours available to participate.