We Motivate Kids to Read

We supplement literacy programs with our trained therapy dog teams that help
students strengthen their reading skills and boost their confidence.


K-9 Reading Buddies services pre-kindergarten. The program style is group oriented. A K-9 Reading Buddy team reads a book to the class. The mentor discusses how to safely approach a dog and shares interesting information about the dog. Children have the opportunity to practice what they learned about how to safely approach a dog and receive a pawprint hand stamp and sticker with the therapy dog’s picture.

Elementary & Middle Schools

We mentor “at-risk” readers in grades 1 thru 8 as identified by their teachers as reading below grade level. The therapy dog is used as a projection tool in the mentoring process to communicate with the child, thereby taking the focus off the child and onto the dog. The child becomes the teacher and the therapy dog becomes the student. One team is assigned 3-4 students for 20-30 minutes per session and visits one day per week. Our teams visit grade school classrooms as a “Mystery Reader” to read a book to the students.

High Schools

Our therapy dog teams visit high schools for stress relief clinics. Students and staff enjoy petting the dogs and chatting during their lunch hours. If the school hosts a preschool program, pre-k students come to pet the therapy dogs, too. We are partners with the Schuler Program, a non-profit mentoring program for first-generation college-bound students, and 9th-12th grades. We also visit their classrooms for stress relief.

After School Programs

Our therapy dog teams alternate visits to a local after-school program for students in grades 1-8. Each student has the opportunity to meet with the therapy dog team to read in English or Spanish or to sit and pet the dog. Many of these students are of the lower socioeconomic population and live in an apartment. Most of these students do not have a pet at home.

Library Programs

For readers grades 1 thru 5. At the conclusion of the reading session, each child gets a custom sticker, a bookmark with that dog’s picture on it and a paw print handstamp. With consent, we email a digital photo of the child with their Reading Buddy to the parent or the guardian. We visit monthly from October through April. Depending on the library’s size, we assign 1-5 teams to the site. On a reading night, 4-16 children may read to a dog.

Community Service & Outreach

We are immersed in the community and offer many opportunities to engage our teams including:

  • Youth Organizations

  • Teacher Associations / PTA

  • Local Men’s & Women’s Clubs

  • Dog-friendly Retailers & Organizations

  • Naval Base & Military

  • Healthcare Services Organizations

  • Day Care & Learning Centers

  • Higher Education Institutions

Contact us for more program information.

Support our literacy programs for young readers.