The Rescuers

Kids Reading To Animals, A Match Made In Heaven

Written by Lens And Leash

We at Lens and Leash are always looking for animal programs that help the community they operate in and we are happy to share with you an incredible program call Ruff Readers.

Ruff Readers pairs up the youth with the furry babies of the world teaching both how to work well with each other. Sharpening reading skills while also gaining confidence interacting with the animals.

Ruff Readers is a newer program created by Teton County Pet Partners. It was taken so positively by the community that they even added a day to their schedule this year.

If you have a child who loves to read and loves hanging out with animals, this program would be great for you!

Here’s what Ruff Readers had to say about how they are helping animals as well as the community…

Lens And Leash: What is Ruff Readers and when did it start?

Teton County Pet Partners: Ruff Readers started in January 2016 and is a “Read to a Dog” program for kids ages 6 to 12. Kids improve their reading skills and make new furry friends by reading aloud to therapy dogs from Teton County Pet Partners.

Lens And Leash: What dates does the program run?

Teton County Pet Partners: 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month through June. Then we break for the summer and return in September.

Lens And Leash: Who is involved with this program?

Teton County Pet Partners: Teton County Library, Teton County Pet Partners, Teton County residents and orgs.

Lens And Leash: Why was Ruff Readers created?

Teton County Pet Partners: Because reading aloud to dogs:

  • Increases enthusiasm for reading
  • Develops reading skills
  • Teaches children how to interact with animals
  • Promotes confidence

And the library Valerie Maginnis, TCL Executive Director, worked at before TCL, had a similar program she really enjoyed.

Lens And Leash: Who benefits the most from this program? The kids or the pups? (I am guessing both ; ))

Teton County Pet Partners: Correct. BOTH! Parents too! 🙂

Lens And Leash: How many children and dogs participate in the program?

Teton County Pet Partners: If I were to guess I’d say we typically see about 15-20 kids a night? TCPP schedules four animal therapy teams per night, so there are plenty of furry friends to go around.

Lens And Leash: What age range are the kids and how can they participate?

Teton County Pet Partners: Ages 6-12. They just drop in to the Youth Auditorium, pick out a book(s), sit next to a dog and read.

Lens And Leash:. Where do the pups come from? Shelters or volunteer dogs?

Teton County Pet Partners: TCPP animal therapy teams. Some of those teams consist of rescue dogs.

Lens And Leash: What has been the benefits/results of Ruff Readers so far?

Teton County Pet Partners: It gained so much traction last year, we added one more day each month to the schedule. We used to only offer the program on the third Wednesday of the month. Also, therapy teams have witnessed improved reading skills in kids who have attended multiple times.

Lens And Leash: How long has TCPP been running in Jackson? How has the valley benefitted from having TCPP operating here?

Teton County Pet Partners: In 1997, Sophie Craighead and Judy Eddy started Teton County PAL (People, Animal, Love), now known as Teton County Pet Partners (TCPP). Today, TCPP consists of 40 local animal therapy teams. TCPP exists to improve lives and help people feel better! We do this by registering and matching animal therapy teams to individual and community needs. Our programs put smiles on senior’s faces, ease hospital patients’ pain and help kids read. We partner with C-V Ranch, Legacy Lodge, St. John’s Medical Center, Teton Behavior Therapy, Teton County Library, Teton Literacy Center and Valley of the Tetons Libraries.

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Lens And Leash

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