Benefits of Reading to a Dog

The cultivation of early literacy skills and lifelong learning are an important backbone of Library services. We provide everything from databases and movies to books, magazines and e-zines, making it a place for patrons of all ages to learn and explore! In order to find enjoyment in such services, it helps to have a comfort level with the basics of reading and reading comprehension.

For our youngest patrons, discovering a level of enjoyment with reading also creates a critical foundation of early literacy skills that determine future educational success.

Reading, like other skills, improve with practice and learning within a friendly environment can further boost the desire to build advanced reading skills. The Library’s READ to a Dog joins regular reading practice with a friendly animal friend -- a trained Reading Education Assistance Dog (R.E.A.D.). For more than 15 years, the Read to a Dog program has been a popular way to join children learning important reading comprehension skills with certified and well-behaved therapy dogs in a friendly, relaxed, non-judgmental atmosphere.

Loyal Companions
Registered therapy dogs in the program volunteer with their dedicated handlers as a team. These duos visit libraries, schools, hospitals, detention facilities, care programs and many other settings as reading companions for children in our community. In addition to building critical reading skills and fluency, participation in Read to a Dog programming builds self-esteem, confidence and improved emotional and social skills. Today, there are thousands of registered R.E.A.D. teams working throughout the United States and internationally.

Offered Year-round
​Throughout the year, Johnson County Library hosts opportunities for young readers to participate in the Read to a Dog programs, building upon a 15-year partnership with Pets for Life, founded in 1984, and Intermountain Therapy Animals, founded in 1999. Patrons looking to instill reading confidence in young readers can find reading opportunities at the Leawood Pioneer, Central Resource and Antioch Library locations.

Our local R.E.A.D. teams are fabulous, and we could not provide this program for the children in our community without their tremendous dedication. To learn more about R.E.A.D., visit here.

Read to a Dog program