Friday, January 30, 2015

2015 Books & Barks contest

It's hard to be cuter than Benny
I've long been an advocate of children reading to dogs in the classroom. I have always been an avid reader; my mother taught me to read long before I started school. For me, reading was - and is - fun. It's not just for information but for a wonderful escape. Someone who can't read is missing out on a lot. There are, however, children who have reading problems. No one is perfect - don't ask me about math! Making that child read aloud in class can be a nightmare for the child.  All eyes are on him or her and it feels like a very judgmental situation for the young student.

Enter dogs. Reading programs that include dogs started many years ago with dogs brought into the classroom.  Dogs don't judge, don't criticize. They just sit there, or lie there, happy to have the attention. They provide amazing support to young people just learning to read or develop their reading skills. 
GuyNoir is apparently helping choose a book
This marks the second year of the Books &Barks contest, created by Pets Best (, a nationwide insurance agency.  They invite Therapy Dog handlers and organizations, students and educators to submit inspirational stories about the effects of therapy dogs in reading programs. 

The winning school or library associated with the program will receive $1000. from Pets Best. Additionally, Pets Best will offer a $500 donation to the therapy dog handler's favorite animal-related non-profit charity.

Entries can be submitted here:

The submission deadline is February 15, 2015.

As an adult, I enjoy reading with a pet curled up near me. I can only imagine what it means to a child to have the comfort and encouragement that a Therapy Dog can provide.

Honey listens avidly as a child reads to her

No comments: