Kids Are Reading Books To Therapy Dogs Over Zoom — The Service Is Getting Popular

More and more kids have been taking to reading books to therapy dogs over zoom as both a way to improve their reading skills and keep themselves entertained, while also keeping lonely therapy dogs company!

Therapy dogs can provide a truly great service to those in need!

Unsplash | Torsten Dederichs

Therapy dogs are used for a variety of wonderful purposes in today's society, one of which being helping the mental wellbeing of school students.

Some of the benefits which therapy dogs can have on students include, boosting students' self-esteem, helping kids improve their social skills, and improving the mental wellbeing of school students by helping alleviate anxiety, as the Alliance of Therapy Dog's website reports.

However, at present, therapy dogs are unable to visit those in need.

Unsplash | Ryan Stone

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, therapy dogs are unable to be visiting those in need in accordance with social distancing measures.

However, some therapy dog programs have been finding ways for their dedicated teams of therapy pooches to still help those in need via the internet.

This has included having school kids read to therapy dogs via zoom!

YouTube | Pasco County Schools

One school that as adopted this is Gulfside Elementary School, where one third-grade teacher has been setting up zoom calls where students who wanted to participate could read stories to therapy dogs!

A lot of kids were keen to get engaged with the event and have been motivated by the idea to practice their reading more.

Kids at Gulfside can bring their own stories to read the dogs each Thursday.

YouTube | Pasco County Schools

Third-grade teacher Ms. Case thanked the dogs and their owners for helping to motivate the school's students at this difficult time, and for giving them something to look forward to!

Ms. Case said in a YouTube post about the scheme, "kids are wanting to practice reading all week so that they can read on Thursdays [to the dogs] so that's really cool."

DoveLewis's therapy dogs are also on the lookout for kids to read them stories at this hard time!

Facebook | DoveLewis

DoveLewis is an emergency animal hospital in Portland, Oregon that also offers a canine-assisted therapy program, and some of their therapy dogs have also been working from home during the coronavirus pandemic!

Dogs such as the lovely Cashew, pictured above, was looking to be read to, as DoveLewis' Facebook page posted, "This adorable furry face is a great listener for #kids wanting to practice their reading skills in our read to the dogs event".

Apparently, the dogs love listening to the children reading stories!

YouTube | Pasco County Schools

Kathy Loter, the program manager at Portland Area Canine Therapy Teams, explained, "Both dogs love listening to the kids and they love hearing stories and for you to read books to them."

"It’s really helpful for families to find something that makes them feel like they're normal and I think this is one of those things that can do that," Loter continued in an interview with Fox4.

Hundreds of children and adults have been joining in with DoveLewis' sessions.

YouTube | Pasco County Schools

Reading stories to therapy dogs has become something of a smash hit, with tonnes of families tuning in.

For mother of two Allison Vidourek, DoveLewis' regular read to the dogs sessions have helped get her 6-year-old daughter inspired to read once again.

"I'm definitely not a teacher [...] It's definitely got her more excited about reading. She's not always thrilled to read to me or her sister. It’s been a go-to activity for us," Vidourek told Oregon Live.

People across the US are thrilled to have these therapy dogs virtually in their homes.

Facebook | DoveLewis

Divine Canines is another canine therapy organization that has recently gone virtual. Based in Austin, Texas, the organization is happy to be bringing families a little joy across the length and breadth of the country!

"Having a visit from a dog, particularly a dog with a trained and certified handler who knows how to keep a conversation going, those things are truely, in our opinion, helping people feel better," Executive Director of Divine Canines, Max Woodfin told Fox4.

Hopefully, these wonderful dogs with continue to spread joy at this difficult time.

YouTube | Pasco County Schools

As the idea becomes more and more popular, hopefully, more and more children will feel inspired to read their favorite stories to these attentive hounds! And, if you're a parent who has been looking for a way to get your child more excited about reading, then this might be just the thing for you!

h/t: Fox4