“Does Reading to Dogs Really Help?
A study at UC Davis (Feb 2010) showed that kids in reading dog programs increase their reading skills by 12% to 20% over kids not in a reading dog program. Because our volunteers are certified as therapy dog teams, they can also visit hospitals, nursing homes and other locations.
Educators we have worked with report 82% of BARK students increased their reading skills, self-confidence, and/or class participation.” — http://www.barkdogs.org/
Benefits of Reading Assistance Dogs
Paws to Read Program North Berkeley Public Library
Therapy Dogs’ Presence Steadily Grows in Libraries
“Sandy Joseph, Oshkosh Public Library children’s librarian told LJ, “It is unbelievably motivating. I am amazed at how well they read after five or six times. That’s what the research is saying: five to six consecutive visits will raise them two reading levels.“
She was quoted in The Northwestern as saying, “Children who are nervous and self-conscious about reading aloud often feel very comfortable reading to a dog. The dog isn’t judgmental or intimidating, so it boosts the child’s confidence, they forget about their limitations and their reading skills improve.”
The research bears her out: a study at Tufts University found that students who read to dogs have better outcomes than students who read to humans. They experienced a slight gain in reading ability and attitudes toward reading, while those who read to people experienced a decrease on both measures. Even more noticeable, there was no attrition in the dog group, while one third of those reading to humans failed to complete the program.
This is far from the first time that dogs and libraries have made unlikely, but effective, partners.”