AARF!! (Animal Ambassadors for Reading Fun)
An Animal Assisted Therapy Program
for Readers in the Coquitlam School District
What is it?
AARF! is a “reading with dogs” program which improves a student’s reading and communication skills through a unique and fun activity – reading with a dog.
How does it work?
The program partners students who have been selected by their teachers with dogs who are tested for health, safety, and temperament, and skilled volunteer facilitators. A student meets with the same facilitator and dog once a week for an 8-10 week period. Each session the student reads to the dog for approximately 30 minutes. Typically, volunteers work with several students and are at the school for approximately 1-1/2 hours per week. The atmosphere is relaxed, comfortable, safe, non-judgmental, empowering, and FUN!
How does the student benefit?
AARF! offers a student the supervised reading practice necessary to build a vocabulary, increase comprehension, and gain fluency as a reader. Research from similar programs in the United States and Canada confirms that participating students make significant gains in reading and communication skills as well as building self-esteem, confidence, and social skills.
Want to find out more about becoming a volunteer? Want to have an AARF dog in your school?
Marna MacMillan at firstname.lastname@example.org
AARF Volunteer Vet: Dr. J Andrew Forsyth - Como Lake Veterinary hospital www.comolakevet.infovet.ca