Every parent understands that reading is an essential skill for their child. What you might not know is that learning to read is just the beginning.

Once they have the skill, they need to practice and learn to enjoy reading. There are many different ways for children to practice reading, including reading aloud, reading at bedtime, and more.

At K-9 Reading Buddies of the North Shore, we offer an innovative program that allows children to read aloud to our trained reading therapy dogs.

As dogs won’t understand, it might sound futile, but the practice offers a wide range of benefits for kids, which we outline in this blog post.

Reading To Dogs Help Them Practice

Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes, and reading is no different. Kids need to practice reading to get better, learn new words, and more.

Reading alone can be dull, but reading to a dog is a fun experience, so you’ll encourage your child to love practicing reading when you enroll them in one of our reading programs.

By giving them a set time to practice reading while they read to one of our dogs, you’ll ensure that they read for a minimum amount of time each week. You’ll also make it feel like less of a chore so that they come to love reading and learning.

There’s A Dog To Suit Every Child

Dogs, just like children, have unique personalities. When pairing up dogs and children, we know that one size doesn’t fit all.

That’s why we offer a range of dogs and have their biographies on our website. You can browse through the K-9 Reading Buddies that we have available and find one that will connect best with your child.

If you find that they’re not interacting well with their new K-9 Reading Buddy, then you can choose another one until they find the dog that they feel a connection with and enjoy reading to, so that your child always feels comfortable.

Help Is Available If They Struggle With Reading

Learning to read isn’t always easy, especially for young children. That’s why all of our volunteers receive training to help them to support children when they struggle.

While our dog reading buddies can’t help, their handlers understand reading and help children who struggle. Each dog has a handler, and they will be present to help your child while they read to the dog. If they struggle with certain words or phrases, they can give them the help they need to improve.

Our Programs Grow With Your Child

Some reading programs finish when your child reaches a certain age. As a result, they’ll have to find a new program or stop practicing.

The team here at K-9 Reading Buddies of the North Shore understands that this happens, which is why we offer a wide range of reading programs to suit children of various ages and abilities.

In addition to our reading programs, we offer outreach services to a range of organizations to reach children who need our help the most. Whether schools or navy groups, we aim to help children in various situations and show them the joy of reading with dogs.

They’ll Make New Friends

In the coronavirus age, it’s hard for children to make new friends and build relationships. However, we offer a range of online reading programs that will allow them to meet new people and make new four-legged friends!

When things start getting back to some semblance of normal, we’ll offer our usual programs in libraries, schools, and other public spaces, so that children can meet the dogs and their handlers in person.

Interacting With Dogs Teaches Children Valuable Lessons

It’s a well-known fact that children who grow up with dogs get many advantages over those that don’t have any pets. However, owning a dog is expensive and time-consuming, and not every parent can keep one.

As such, our reading program can help your child get all the benefits of interacting with a dog, without the responsibility.

Your child can meet our dogs and interact with them while they read. All our team dogs are certified therapy dogs.

All of our handlers understand how to keep their dog calm and safe during their meeting with your child so that they can deal with any situation that occurs. As such, you know that your child is in safe hands when they participate in one of our programs.

Reading To Dogs Relieves Stress

These are stressful times for everyone, including children and teens. As such, you need to find ways to help them to feel less stressed.

Both reading and interacting with dogs help reduce stress, so our programs are the perfect way to help your child feel less anxious and improve their mental well-being.

It’s Fun!

Reading shouldn’t be a chore; if you make it seem like studying, then you’ll put your child off reading for enjoyment. Reading a book to a dog is fun, so your child will associate the practice with a positive memory.

By building a positive association around reading, you’ll encourage your child to take it up as a hobby. Regular reading improves their imagination, memory, and more, so you’ll give them a useful hobby that will benefit them throughout their life.

Virtual Reading Program

Sign your child up today to read to one of our K-9 Reading Buddies at www.k9rbns.org/schedule. As a leading provider of a unique reading program, we understand how to benefit dogs, their owners, and, most importantly, your child.