Reading Education Assistance Dog (R.E.A.D.) Program
The mission of the R.E.A.D. program is to improve the literacy skills of children through the assistance of registered therapy teams as literacy mentors.
The Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) program improves children's reading and communication skills by employing a powerful method: reading to an animal. But not just any animal. R.E.A.D. companions are registered therapy animals who volunteer with their owner/handlers as a team, going to schools, libraries and many other settings as reading companions for children.
R.E.A.D. is the first and foremost program that utilizes therapy animals to help kids improve their reading and communication skills and also teaches them to love books and reading. It's been growing around the world since November of 1999 when Intermountain Therapy Animals (ITA) launched the program in Salt Lake City. More than 6,000 therapy teams have trained and registered with the program and are going strong!
Today, thousands of registered R.E.A.D. teams work throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico and 23 other European, Asian, Central American, and South American countries. R.E.A.D. is one of those ideas that, in the words of Bill Moyers, "pierces the mundane to arrive at the marvelous."