From February 2012 to April 2013, Woofs and Books has grown FROM 1 volunteer and her canine reading buddy providing free reading sessions at 1 school TO 7 volunteers and their 9 canine reading buddies providing free reading sessions at 5 schools. This is amazing growth and Woofs and Books is so grateful to its dedicated volunteers and their canine reading buddies!
Nickie Scott and Bentley, Great Pyrenees, kicked off the entire reading program at St. Michael’s Elementary School in Greenfield, IN. Another volunteer started the reading program in Noblesville, IN at Noble Crossing Elementary School. Currently, Woofs and Books works with students at St. Michael’s, New Palestine Elementary School, Paramount School of Excellence in Indianapolis, and Noble Crossing and Promise Road Elementary School in Noblesville. In addition to schools, Nickie Scott and Bentley offer the reading program to pre-K children attending programs at the Greenfield Parks Dept., MOPS, and have Story Time with Bentley at The Nutty Mutt, a pet store and bakery in Greenfield and New Palestine, IN. The volunteers are also trying to offer the reading programs at 2 libraries.
If you are unfamiliar with the reading program, volunteers and their temperament tested and/or canine good citizen certified dogs facilitate reading sessions between elementary students and their new furry, canine friend.
Students who are shy, lack self-confidence, or struggle with literacy are selected to participate in the reading sessions. The students read aloud to the non-critical, attentive, canine reading buddy. The volunteer facilitates the sessions. Due to the dog being non-critical, the students are relaxed and are not afraid to make mistakes while reading aloud. After 8+ weeks of reading to the dogs, the students increase their literacy skills, build self-confidence, and improve their grades.
In addition to the benefits noted, the students typically read animal-themed books and the volunteers talk about responsible pet ownership and adopting and rescuing pets. The dogs also benefit from the reading programs by becoming well socialized with different people and new environments. Woofs and Books’ goal is to train the dogs it rescues to become canine reading buddies, and the rescue dogs will also be available for adoption.
Woofs and Books is also an animal rescue and has rescued and adopted out 21+ pets, primarily cats, since April 2011. Woofs and Books screens its potential adopters via an application and reference checks. Adopters also have to sign an adoption contract. The rescues are all in loving homes and are quite spoiled!
All of the volunteers and board of directors are unpaid and offer the reading programs for free at schools and other locations. Thus, Woofs and Books relies on fundraisers, grants, and supplies and monetary donations to continue the reading and adoption programs. Thank you to our volunteers and for your support!!