In 2015, we partnered with an incredible organization that mirrors our dedication to the health and happiness of pets. Pet Partners and its members understand the incredible impact that pets and humans have on each other.
In honor of National Reading Month, we want to spotlight a newer Pet Partners program: Read With Me™ is a special initiative for those interested in volunteering in schools, libraries and other venues to promote literacy and instill a lifelong love of reading by having children read with therapy animals.
As one of the many benefits of registering for its Therapy Animal Program, Pet Partners provides supporting materials aligned with its philosophies of animal welfare and safety – free of charge. There are currently over 1,000 Pet Partners teams participating in Read With Me across the country.
A study from researchers at the University of Lincoln and the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition found that dogs “may improve children’s reading abilities through beneficially altering behavioral and emotional processes that improve the learning environment.” In other words, an environment where children can read openly to therapy animals is non-judgmental, more calm, more comfortable and more enjoyable.
One of the top Read With Me™ dogs is named Buddy, who has listened to over 3,800 kids read in the past three years! Buddy spends an average four hours of volunteer time per week at an elementary school in his community and his family raised money to create Buddy’s Little Free Library, which gives kids access to books they may not have had access to before.
Beyond Read With Me, Pet Partners is dedicated to training and providing therapy animals to give affection and comfort to people in many other settings including hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, and disaster areas. Pet Partners teams up with a wide variety of clients including veterans with PTSD, seniors living with Alzheimer’s, students with literacy challenges, patients in recovery, people with intellectual disabilities and those approaching end of life.
To learn more about Pet Partners, visit petpartners.org