Bark and Read - Who

The Kennel Club Education Trust is a dedicated dog charity which looks after the health and welfare of all dogs by funding a wide variety of work ranging from supporting research into canine diseases, dog welfare organisations and the promotion of support dogs.

The Bark & Read Foundation provides grant aid to charities that send dogs to schools as "reading volunteers".  These grants help charities and volunteers to provide their services at no cost to schools and enables them to reach more children and young people who can benefit from reading with dogs.

Canine Concern Scotland

Canine Concern Scotland Trust provide reading dogs to schools and libraries in Scotland as part of their Therapets programme. Their aim to encourage young readers who lack confidence with reading to come along to one of their regular sessions where, instead of reading to a person, they have the opportunity to read to a Therapet dog.  A Therapet dog will listen to them and not judge, allowing them to relax, to gain confidence in their own ability and improve their enjoyment of reading.

Find out more about Canine Concern Scotland Therapets here.

Contact: 0131 553 0034 or info@canineconcernscotland.org.uk.

Tony Nevett and Danny

Tony is a pioneer of reading with dogs in the UK and has been involved in this work for eight years.  With rescue greyhound Danny, he visits schools and libraries nation-wide to introduce the concept of reading with dogs to whole school communities and to encourage them to set up their own programmes. He works in groups and one on one with children to help them learn to love reading, overcome shyness and increase their confidence, and improve concentration and behaviour. 

Though Tony and Danny work independently, Danny is trained and registered as an assistance and education dog with Pets As Therapy and the Blue Cross, and with the READ (Reading Education Assistance Dogs) programme in the USA, which first pioneered reading with dogs. 

Contact: tonynevett@yahoo.co.uk.

Dogs for Good Community Dogs for Schools

Dogs for Good trains assistance, activity and therapy dogs to work with specialist handlers in homes, communities and schools. Launched in 2014, their Community Dogs for Schools programme has been exploring how a dog, working alongside a professional dog handler, teachers and therapists, can bring benefits to students in two Special Educational Needs Schools, Round Oak School in Warwickshire and Stocklake Park School in the Vale of Aylesbury.

Find out more about Dogs for Good Community Dogs for Schools here.

Contact: info@dogsforgood.org.

From Fear to Friend

The aim of this voluntary group From Fear To Friend is to help children who have a fear of dogs to overcome this fear and learn to relax and be around dogs without worrying. One of the successful tools they use to do this is reading to dogs. Founded by qualified dog trainers Ann Cook and Steph Page, they hold weekend and evening sessions in the Reigate area and are branching out into school visits as well. 

Find out more about From Fear to Friend here.

Contact: athyrium@tiscali.co.uk.

Canine Assisted Intervention Therapy (CAIT) programme

CAIT is a school visiting programme devised by qualified dog trainer Vicki Turnbull, who also holds a BA (Hons) in Childhood and Youth Studies. CAIT can be adapted to provide tailored support for children in reading, language development, confidence, stress management or a specific curriculum subject. It draws on children's natural enthusiasm for engaging with animals. Vicki is based in the Worcestershire.

Find out more about CAIT here.

Contact: vicki-at-takingthelead@hotmail.co.uk.

The Bear Bones of Education

A qualified teacher with over 30 years of professional experience, Sandy Childs lives and works in the Lake District with her Golden Retrievers Google and Jeeves.  Her focus is on helping children and teenagers who need additional support with reading and writing, with having the confidence to speak in class and with maintaining concentration and focus. 

Find out more about Sandy, Google, Jeeves and the work they do at their website The Bear Bones of Education.

You can contact Sandra Childs at sandybag911@hotmail.com.

Burns By Your Side

Burns 'By Your Side' is an innovative scheme supported by Burns Pet Nutrition Foundation in south West Wales using specially trained volunteers and their companion dogs to help children in education settings to improve their literacy, confidence and communication skills. These very special animals come to hear the children read and it's fun! The scheme also supports children in nurturing units that have communication difficulties or special needs to help increase feelings of wellbeing through a therapy visit.

Find out more about Burns By Your Side here.

Contact email: carol@burnspet.co.uk.

Pets As Therapy Read2Dogs Scheme

Pets As Therapy established their Read2Dogs scheme in 2010 and their volunteers and doggy companions now visit 400 schools all over the country to help children increase their confidence and enjoyment of reading. You will see all sorts of dogs of every shape and size volunteering with Pets As Therapy and spreading the joy of reading to children everywhere.

Find out more about Pets As Therapy Read2Dogs here.

Contact: 01844-345445 or reception@petsastherapy.org.

Therapy Dogs Nationwide

Therapy Dogs Nationwide is a volunteer-run charity which uses much loved pets to bring comfort, companionship, happiness and therapy to those in need. Through their Paws & Read programme, Therapy Dogs Nationwide are helping children in over 50 schools and libraries, especially those who can be nervous and uncomfortable when reading aloud, to improve their literacy skills. The Paws & Read dogs are non-judgemental, attentive and perfect listeners.
Find out more about Therapy Dogs Nationwide here.

Contact: enquiries@therapydogsnationwide.org.

Caring Canines

Caring Canines, founded in 2006, is a small charity based in Bournemouth.  Their work has three strands:  literacy work in schools, therapy work in hospitals and care homes, and education work to teach people how to socialise and interact with dogs in a safe way. 

Their Be Bookwise programme, founded in 2007, is very intensive and is aimed at children who have been identified by their school as being in need of particular assistance. This term they are working in 6 schools and 19 children are teamed up with 19 volunteers and their dogs, the Book Buddies.

Caring Canines founders Sue Dennett and Julie Lankshear have both been awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year's Honours List 2014 in recognition of their services to dog assisted therapy.

Find out more about Caring Canines here

Contact: 01202 579744 (Julie) or 01202 872352 (Sue)or sulie2060@gmail.com.

Dogs Helping Kids

Dogs Helping Kids is a small charity based in North Devon. Their mission statement is to use dogs to help teach children non-violence, empathy, respect, kindness, love, responsibility, friendship and trust.  Their dogs provide a calming presence in the classroom, work one on one with children who need help with reading, act as a behavioural incentive for children and act as therapy dogs for children who have emotional difficulties. 

Find out more about Dogs Helping Kids here.

Contact: 01271 343288 or dhk@tberridge.fsnet.co.uk.

Building Understanding of Dogs

Building Understand of Dogs (BUD) is a programme based on North Wales. It was created and established by Eryl Restall and Maggie McManus. The primary aim of the Programme is to create a safer world for children and dogs. The programme addresses issues of caring for and interacting with dogs safely, tackling anti-social behaviour, and encouraging positive engagement with education. 

The B.U.D Programme has been run in two secondary schools throughout the year, working with pupils who have been identified as needing support with low confidence and self-esteem, some of whom were displaying potential disaffection and disengagement with school. Part of their programme is the BUD Read Scheme to help children become more confident readers who are able to engage more effectively in lessons and participate in activities. The BUD Read Scheme gives children increased access to all that school life has to offer them.

Maggie is a teacher with over 23 years' experience, many of those years spent working with pupils with Social, Emotional and Behavioural difficulties. Eryl is a highly acclaimed, experienced and qualified dog handler and trainer.

Find out more about Building Understanding of Dogs here.

You can contact Maggie McManus at 07825 735574 or magsmcl@hotmail.com.

Nicole Crossley and Robbie

Nicole is a retired Police Sergeant who now works as a volunteer provider of Bark & Read at a local primary school in the Sunderland area. Both she and her dog Robbie, a two year old Golden Retriever visit the school, where they work on a one to one basis with children aged 5-11 years old of varying reading abilities and confidence levels. Since being introduced to the school, confidence levels and reading abilities have dramatically improved. Nicole has been teaching Robbie how to read to prove to children that if he can read then so can they! They are never short of volunteers to help Robbie in his reading challenge!

Robbie has truly had a huge impact within the school and particularly enjoys being taken on the many adventures that the children tell him about in the books they are reading. Nicole is a huge advocate of Growth Mindset within the school setting, in that nothing is impossible and actively encourages the children to think "Believing is Achieving".

Nicole, along with her husband Gil runs a very successful dog training business in the local area and when in school, she advises the children on how to behave around dogs and how to take responsibility for them.

Contact: 07411286485 or g-crossley@sky.com.

Pawzitive Book Buddies

The Book Buddies programme, offered by Northern Ireland based charity Pawzitive, aims to improve children's reading and communication skills by reading with one of our dog and volunteer teams. Book Buddies dogs volunteer with their owners as a team, working in primary schools as reading companions for children. Both dog and human volunteers are robustly assessed prior to becoming Book Buddies. The success of the pilot Book Buddies programme in 2011 led to the creation of a universal template which can be used across all primary schools in Northern Ireland. Book Buddies has achieved significant success in not only improving the literacy of the children who take part, but supporting visible improvements in the children's self esteem, social interaction and engagement in other subjects in class. Book Buddies children read to their younger siblings, which has encouraged them to be more confident with literacy when they start school. The schools adopt the Book Buddy team as a member of their school community and interaction with the team by pupils, staff and parents creates an opportunity to share helpful information on safe behaviour around dogs.

Find out more about Pawzitive Book Buddies here. 

Contact: Fiona Robertson at bookbuddies@pawzitive.org

How to get involved

If you would like one of the Bark & Read sponsored dogs to visit your school, community group or other organisation, or if you have a dog that you think might be suitable as a reading volunteer please contact: Ciara Farrell on 020 7518 1009 or ciara.farrell@thekennelclub.org.uk.

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