Literacy Enrichment Assistance Dogs (LEAD)

Academic Enrichment Grant

 2012-2013 Project Summary

Deborah Newman

Jefferson Township High School • Oak Ridge, NJ

This project’s goal is to enhance children’s reading abilities through the use of therapy animals and to lay the foundation for lifelong learning. Two levels of students will benefit by this project. LEAD will provide an opportunity for high school students interested in animals, education or psychology to be involved in a community service. Training a dog requires patience, commitment and a basic knowledge of the theories of behavioral psychology. Upon completion of training, high school students will mentor elementary students who are reluctant readers. While the dog serves to create a non-threatening environment, the mentor helps with reading, and models commitment and community involvement. Holding this program in the library exposes the young students to the world of the library. Each year 10 therapy dog teams will be trained. A tri-fold brochure will be developed to invite students into the program and inform parents. A short video of student’s training their dogs and working with younger students will also be produced.

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