About K-9 Reading Buddies
Since 2007, our therapy dog teams have worked with over 2500 at-risk readers
K-9 Reading Buddies was born out of an experience Carole had with her late mother while hospitalized—a visit from a therapy dog, a golden retriever. Her mother was so delighted by the experience, she asked Carole to promise to get a golden retriever for her grandson Adam, then 2.
Later, Carole was introduced to a therapy dog-assisted reading program at a local library in Wisconsin. When she moved back home to Chicagoland, she started K-9 Reading Buddies. The organization is now a permanent fixture in several suburban libraries and schools for therapeutic and academic purposes.
The original K-9 Reading Buddies were Minnie and Mickey, both golden retrievers. Minnie passed away at 15. Mickey continues to join Carole at community outreach events. Simba, also a golden retriever, is in training to follow in Minnie’s pawprints.
We like to say we partner with kids from pre-school to college because the bookends of our program are literacy and stress relief. Our therapy dog teams make reading fun for 3 to 4-year-olds, partner with at-risk readers in grades 1 through 8, and provide stress relief for high school students throughout the school year.
Our monthly library program motivates kids to want to come to the library to experience reading to a K-9 Reading Buddy. Over 200 children register to read to our teams annually at multiple suburban libraries.
We conduct community outreach in an animal-assisted therapy capacity at various facilities that include the Naval Station at Great Lakes where we receive up to 200 visitors per session.