The Bark & Read Foundation has been set up to support and promote the amazing work of charities that take dogs into schools as reading volunteers to help tackle the UK's literacy problems.
Funded by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, the Bark & Read Foundation is working with Pets As Therapy, through their Read 2 Dogs project, and also with Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D); Dogs Helping Kids (DHK); Caring Canines; the Google Literacy Project, and Building Understanding of Dogs (BUD). These charities are operating in schools around the country, helping children to read with their specially trained support dogs.
Reading to dogs has been proved to help children develop literacy skills and build confidence, through both the calming effect the dogs' presence has on children and the fact that the dog will listen to the children read without being judgemental or critical. This comforting environment helps to nurture children's enthusiasm for reading and provides them with the confidence needed to read aloud.
Bark & Read is supported by actress, Zoe Wanamaker CBE, who said: "Reading is such an important skill that is used in every part of our lives, but it can be a scary and intimidating experience when you are young.
"As with anything in life you have to practice, practice and practice to get better. That is why the Kennel Club's Bark & Read project is such an inspiring idea, as we all know that dogs are great listeners and won't judge if we stumble over a word. The concept makes reading time fun and helps to develop children's self esteem and passion for reading while they're still finding their voice. If children aren't inspired to read then they will just turn to their play-stations and Xboxes instead."
Bark & Read - Why
Find out why the Bark & Read Foundation was launched and what makes dogs the perfect classroom companion for children learning to read.
Bark & Read - Who
The Kennel Club Charitable Trust is a dedicated dog charity which looks after the health and welfare of all dogs by funding a wide variety of work. Click here to find out what other organistions are involved with the Bark & Read Foundation.
How to get involved
Want one of the Bark & Read sponsored dogs to visit your school, community group or other organisation? Then read how to get involved.
Donate to the Bark and Read Foundation
The Kennel Club Charitable Trust's Bark & Read foundation provides money to charities that take dogs into schools as reading volunteers and supports other projects where dogs are helping children to read.
Please help the Kennel Club improve child literacy with the assistance of dogs: donate here.
Read all about dogs that have helped children to read in these inspiring testimonials.
Case study: Abbie and Spike
Read about Abbie, who has benefited from the help of Pets As Therapy dog, Spike.