Hudson Valley Visiting Pet Program Launches "Paws for Reading"
The Hudson Valley Visiting Pet Program launched "Paws for Reading" in June of 2006 at the New City Library. Many enthusiastic children had a chance to read one-on-one on a Cat-in-the-Hat quilt with Annie, a mixed-breed therapy dog and Risa Hoag, Annie’s handler and a Certified Humane Education Specialist.
Paws for Reading is an affiliate of the Reading Education Assistance Dogs® (R.E.A.D.) program developed by Intermountain Therapy Animals in Utah.The Paws for Reading program is always offered free to both schools and libraries. All of our teams are volunteers and the Visiting Pet Program is a non-profit organization sustained solely by donations.
The mission of the R.E.A.D. program is to improve the literacy skills of children through the assistance of registered Pet Partner therapy teams as literacy mentors. This unique educational approach was first introduced on CBS’s “60 Minutes” more than 20 years ago. The animals in the program have been trained and tested for health, safety, skills and temperament through our prestigious program.
The R.E.A.D. program offers childrenan opportunity to improve their reading in a setting which has proven effective and fun.
The HV Visiting Pet Program currently has 16 R.E.A.D. teams and Risa Hoag is a licensed R.E.A.D. Instructor with Intermountain Therapy Animals. Our group offers R.E.A.D. workshops several times throughout the year for those who wish to become R.E.A.D. teams as well as for librarians, school teachers and school administrators who would like to learn more about the benefits of this unique program. Please check our events page for details on upcoming workshops.
There are more than 2,500 R.E.A.D. teams throughout the United States,the U.K., Canada and Australia some of which participate in Animal Assisted Therapy in school settings wheregoals are established for each child with teachers and reading specialists. The child then worksone-on-one with the R.E.A.D. team to track the reading improvement progress of participating students. Schools in Rockland and Bergen county that would like to arrange for a R.E.A.D. program in their school should send an e-mail to Risa Hoag at Risa@HudsonValleyVisitingPets.com or call 845-627-3000.
The Hudson Valley Visiting Pet Program has been providing animal assisted services throughout Rockland and Bergen for the past 13 years and makes regular free visits to nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospitals with its teams. The organization conducts regular training programs for others who would like to participate in this rewarding volunteer activity.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE A R.E.A.D. TEAM VISIT YOUR SCHOOL OR LIBRARY TO ASSIST CHILDREN WITH READING, PLEASE SEND AN E-MAIL TO Risa@HudsonValleyVisitingPets.com OR CALL RISA HOAG AT 845-627-3000.
Click here for starting a R.E.A.D. program in your school
Click here for starting a R.E.A.D. program in your library
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN BECOMING A R.E.A.D. TEAM WITH YOUR DOG, CAT, BIRD OR OTHER PET, PLEASE ATTEND ONE OF OUR 2012 TRAINING SESSIONS TO GAIN AN UNDERSTANDING OF HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS.
Check here for upcoming R.E.A.D. sessions at area libraries. Please contact the libraries for more information on bringing your child to these events. Each library makes its own schedule for the day not our group.
Some recent photos from a R.E.A.D. session at New City Library!
Fran and Sammie, this is Fran's 5th therapy dog and she has another Cavalier waiting to be certified!
Our youngest handler Talia (right) with her Pug Logan.
Annette and Star, a very laid-back Greyhound!
Susan and Shaina, her very popular Standard Poodle.
Lois and Gilly were the first HVHS VPP R.E.A.D. team to work in a School. They read each week with children from Sloatsburg Elementary School and have been featured in the Journal News!
Daryl and her black lab Molly have become regular visitors to libraries in Westchester
Annie and Risa listen to children read Hebrew at Beth Am Temple.
Barbara and Kaila are our second team to read with children in an elementary school. They work at Golden Hill Elementary in Florida, NY. Barbara now brings her newest therapy Sheltie, Dusty, to Golden Hill.
If you would like to learn more about our participation in the R.E.A.D. program, please send an e-mail to Risa@HudsonValleyVisitingPets.com