Local nonprofit uses therapy dogs to teach kids to read

A local Chicago nonprofit organization called Sit Stay Read is making learning how to read really fun for students. The organization brings reading therapy dogs into first, second and third grade classrooms to help students from low-income communities improve their reading skills.

Kids that have the chance to work one-on-one with reading therapy dogs, love it. The dogs are non-judgmental, which helps calm kids’ nerves down and boosts their reading confidence skills. 

In addition to a small full-time and part-time staff, the organization has more than 70 dog teams and 140 volunteers. But they are always looking for additional volunteers — of the human and K9 varieties. Sit Stay Read staffers say volunteering is a rewarding experience and will impact children for the rest of their lives.

Want to learn more about reading therapy dogs?

“Hello Goodbye Dog” by Maria Gianferrari ties wonderfully into the Sit Stay Read program. The book follows a little girl named Zara and her reading therapy dog, Moose. The book is silly and fun, while also highlighting the bond between Zara and Moose. “Hello Goodbye Dog” is available for purchase online on Amazon.com or Target.com. Or you can find it at your nearest bookstore. 

Interested in volunteering or making a donation to Sit Stay Read? Visit sitstayread.org.

For more information on Maria Gianferrari and her newest book  “Hello Goodbye Dog,” visit mariagianferrari.com.

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