Prairieland Visiting Animals Association
Your dog must be a registered or certified therapy dog through a recognized organization. R.E.A.D. requires everyone to send a photocopy of their current ID badge or other proof of current renewal to ITA. This ensures that the R.E.A.D. team has personal liability insurance through their particular group.
You must attend a R.E.A.D. workshop. The cost is $75.00(includes a manual and lunch). The workshop is offered by Shirley May. It’s usually held from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on a weekend. Contact Shirley at 913-940-1649 OR firstname.lastname@example.org.
Send your R.E.A.D. test and fee to Intermountain Therapy Animals (ITA). The full fee is $60, but our local group, Prairieland Visiting Animals Association, gets a 20% discount so your lifetime fee is only $50.00. That’s all there is to it.
Be sure to check out the ITA website at www.therapyanimals.org/R.E.A.D.html for lots of valuable information about the R.E.A.D. program.
Prairieland has members in the following therapy organizations
A BRIEF HISTORY OF R.E.A.D
The idea of Reading Education Assistance Dogs, or R.E.A.D., was conceived by Sandy Martin and Kathy Klotz in 1999. Both were members of Intermountain Therapy Animals (ITA) in Utah, and they believed that children’s reading and communication skills could be improved by reading to a dog.
In March 2000, ITA did a pilot study at Bennion Elementary School in Salt Lake City. The study found students that read to a dog showed marked improvement in their reading scores.
But these were not just any dogs. ITA used registered therapy animals. These dogs, who volunteered with their owner/handlers as a team, went to hospitals and other health care facilities. And now they were going to schools and libraries as reading companions for children. After the program’s initial success in Utah, it went nationwide. Today, thousands of registered R.E.A.D. teams work throughout mostly the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
R.E.A.D. was first approved by Topeka Public Schools after a
presentation by Kathy Schlotterbeck in January 2006. We started
at Williams Magnet School with two teams and at Highland Park
Elementary School with four teams. In 2007-2008, we were in eight
schools serving over thirty students.
© Prairieland Visiting Animals Association 2013