Ottawa Therapy Dogs Receives TELUS Community Grant for Reading Education Assistance Dogs® Program

Thanks to the generous support of TELUS, Ottawa Therapy Dogs (OTD) will strengthen literacy outcomes in schools and libraries in the National Capital Region using specially trained therapy dog teams as part of the Reading Education Assistance Dogs® (R.E.A.D.®) program.

A unique literacy initiative, this program improves reading and communication skills through animal-assisted therapy. Each week, volunteer handlers and their therapy dogs visit local classrooms as reading companions for reluctant and struggling readers. The results are compelling with a number of studies documenting significant improvement in reading fluency among students who participate in a 10-week literacy program with therapy dogs.

Ottawa Therapy Dogs has been offering the R.E.A.D. program since 2004, however growing demand from local teachers, principals and librarians far exceeds their capacity and resources as a small non-profit organization. Funds from TELUS enables OTD to expand this program and better support their R.E.A.D. teams with additional resources to help them succeed. This includes kits with level-appropriate books as well as tools for teams, teachers and parents to measure specific student outcomes in reading fluency, communications skills, self-confidence and anxiety levels.

To learn more about Ottawa Therapy Dogs’ R.E.A.D. program, watch:

TELUS provides Community Grants to improve the lives of youth and their communities. TELUS has 13 community boards and eight regional community action teams in Canada, as well as five community boards internationally.

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