Paws for Reading is a program that brings volunteers and their dogs into the school to listen to children read. The goal is to provide a warm, welcoming, non-threatening environment which will help children develop better fluency and comprehension.
The PAWS for Reading program began in our schools in the winter of 2005. Since then, hundreds of elementary school children in Randolph, Braintree, and Brookfield have had the opportunity to read to a registered therapy dog and its human companion. Reading to dogs, who listen calmly without judgment, helps children build confidence, develop fluency, and improve their overall reading skills.
Each PAWS for Reading volunteer has first passed a test with his/her dog to become a certified therapy dog team. Additional training in reading support is provided before the volunteer works with children. Assigned to a classroom for the year, the human/canine team meets individually with students for 15-20 minutes - generally spending one hour per week in the school. The children are eager and excited about reading to the dogs. Our volunteers find the experience just as rewarding and many have returned year after year.
After almost nine years of implementation, we currently have eleven volunteers serving in all three elementary schools and at Kimball Library.