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Volunteer2018-08-13T22:39:25+00:00

A Great Reading Buddy

Our volunteer therapy dogs range in breed from a 3 lb Maltese to a 120 lb Leonberger, which is why our tagline is, “A Reading Buddy of a Different Breed”. K-9 Reading Buddies are not required to be a specific breed type, but all must have these things in common:

  • Social

  • Polite

  • Well-groomed

  • Balanced between calm and friendly

  • Interested in meeting people

  • Non-aggressive

  • Tolerant
  • Past puppyish ways

  • Walk on loose leash

  • Responds to handler’s commands

  • Registered therapy dogs

K-9 Reading Buddy Mentors

While some of our teams are retired schoolteachers, others include business professionals, stay-at-home parents and high school students. Although backgrounds may differ, all our mentors have these things in common:

  • Enjoy children
  • Love to read!

  • Are flexible and have the ability to “go with the flow.”

  • Have a willingness to get to know the children, understand any challenges and remember small things about them.

  • Love dogs!

5 Steps to Become a Reading Buddy Mentor

  • Pass

    1

    PASS K-9 TEST

    STEP 1

    All therapy dogs must have proof of current therapy dog registration by either Alliance of Therapy Dogs or another approved registry organization and be in good standing with that organization.

    1

    PASS K-9 TEST

  • Join

    2

    ORIENTATION & DUES

    STEP 2

    An Orientation Meeting will be scheduled to share how the program works, impart information, complete paperwork, answer questions and collect dues. You will receive a K-9 Reading Buddies Training Manual that will prepare you for our custom training class on how to become a K-9 Reading Buddy Team.

    2

    ORIENTATION & DUES

  • Observe

    3

    SITE OBSERVATIONS

    STEP 3

    You are expected to make 3 shadow visits, without your dog, where you will observe and meet current K-9 Reading Buddy Teams in action at a reading session or a community outreach event.

    3

    SITE OBSERVATIONS

  • Train

    4

    TRAINING CLASS

    STEP 4

    Soon after the Orientation Meeting, you will attend a 4-hour interactive Training Class without your dog. You will receive your K-9 Reading Buddies t-shirt which is to be worn at all K-9 Reading Buddies events and your dog’s K-9 Reading Buddies bandana that may only be worn while representing K-9 Reading Buddies.

    4

    TRAINING CLASS

  • Visit

    5

    START VISITS

    STEP 5

    At the end of the training class, you can sign up for available opportunities to begin working as a team with your dog.

    5

    START VISITS

Download Mentor Application

Services Coordinators

Our services coordinators are adult volunteers without dogs who run our library programs and assist at events. We rely on these individuals to keep things running smoothly. Library Services Coordinators manage the reading nights at libraries and are our public relations representatives. Their presence relieves the library staff from additional duties and they serve as a point person for registered readers, their caregivers, and our own volunteers. Services coordinators help at our festival booths and community outreach events.

Download Coordinator Application

Youth Volunteers

We welcome youth volunteers without a dog, once they turn 12 years old. Frequently, these are children who were readers in our library programs that have aged out and want to stay involved. These youth volunteers help our library reading nights run smoothly by assisting the Library Services Coordinator on site. Youth volunteers participate during various community outreach events. Our goal is always to help the youth volunteer feel empowered and successful. Their work is valued and needed.

Download Youth Volunteer Application

Therapy Dog Registration

For your dog to participate in our program, you and your dog must be registered with an organization such as the Alliance of Therapy Dogs (ATD). Although we refer to Alliance of Therapy Dogs for testing and registration of therapy dogs, we do welcome incoming handlers and therapy dogs from other therapy registries.

Learn More about ATD

Contact us for more information on volunteering.

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