Our “Read with Rapha” Programme brings aaisg canine teams to schools, libraries, childcare centres, and homes with the aim of improving the reading and communication skills of children through canine-assisted reading.
Research has shown that canine-assisted reading programmes help to improve a child’s literacy skills, self-esteem, and love for reading. Interacting with dogs during the sessions can also help a child develop empathy and better emotional regulation.
The objective of this programme is to build literacy for beginning readers, including:
When a child reads, the presence of a non-threatening and non-judgemental dog can help to create a safe and conducive environment that facilitates learning. Interactions with dogs can also provide the child with physiological and emotional benefits. A child’s motivation to participate in reading sessions with a dog tends to increase over time, and participation becomes an intrinsic, rather than secondary reward for them. Children also get the opportunity to see themselves as helpers to the dogs, rather than part of yet another remedial programme.
Overall, our Read with Rapha programme utilises a holistic approach to learning. Soft skills learned during these sessions, including respect and empathy, can be generalised to other areas of the child’s life.
We have a range of age appropriate books that children may choose from to read. Alternatively, we are able to incorporate your books into the programme to suit your curriculum.
Progress documentation is optional depending on your needs e.g. free and easy reading in libraries versus reading programmes in school with established goals and monitored reading scores.
You may book a session for up to 90 minutes. The number of canine teams attending would depend on the size of your event and existing COVID-19 measures.
Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on our pricing structure.
The dog handler will sit next to the child with the dog between them, and would have the child read to them. The set up may differ depending on the number of children involved. However, to reap the greatest benefit from this programme, we recommend a lower child to canine team ratio. Having other children around may exacerbate any existing fear that the child may have with reading aloud.
Dogs are incorporated into the programme by asking the child to explain to them (rather than another human) what the word or story means, or to share how they feel about the book in general. The handler may also cue the dog to “flip” the page, or to “point” at a word.
Our handlers are trained to facilitate reading, to provide gentle feedback and encouragement where necessary, and to translate their dogs’ feelings and reactions to the child. Not many people are equipped to do this! To safeguard public safety, health and animal welfare, only dogs assessed to have the appropriate dispositions are selected for this programme.
Each session lasts up to 60 minutes, including the time required to set up and pack up. This is so as to protect the welfare of our dogs involved in the programme.
Once we have received your request for a session, we will try our best to reply to you within 2 working days. We try to finalise the number of teams 2 weeks prior to the session.
Once we receive your request for a session, we will get in touch with you to discuss the details, such as the venue, number of participants and any other special requests. Please note that we are legally required to comply with the latest COVID-19 measures.
While we would appreciate at least 4 weeks notice, we will try our best to accommodate your requests.
Our activities run on an opt in basis, and individuals allergic to dogs are not encouraged to participate in our programme. Our dogs are showered and brushed by their handlers not more than 24 hours before each session to minimise the amount of dander. A fresh reading mat is used at every session, and children will be required to wash their hands with soap or sanitise them before and after every session.
Prior to each session, the dogs will be walked, and relieved. Handlers will also observe their dogs to see if they require a toilet break during the session. The dogs are also up to date on their vaccinations and parasite prevention treatments.
Yes we do.