For kids who struggle to read, the learning process can feel slow and tedious. Parents and teachers, too, often worry about how to help kids learn this critical skill. For some lucky students in Memphis, however, learning to read becomes a lot more fun with the help of Zoe, a therapy dog with Mid South Therapy Dogs.

therapy dog helps with reading

Zoe the therapy dog with her handler and a second-grade student. Source: Micaela Watts

Zoe, along with her peer therapy dogs, are trained in the R.E.A.D. program model. The mission of R.E.A.D. is “to improve the literacy skills of children through the assistance of registered therapy teams as literacy mentors,” according to their website.

There is promising research to show that the presence of dogs can help students feel more relaxed and improve reading comprehension.

therapy dog

Zoe, a therapy dog in Memphis, TN. Source: Micaela Watts

According to Chalkbeat Tennessee, both teachers and students are singing the program’s praises. Kids and teachers who have seen the program in action at Keystone Elementary were interviewed by Chalkbeat Tennessee, and one second grader said that she likes reading to the dogs even more than reading to humans.

Related: Bride Comforted By Her Service Dog Goes Viral

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