Several options exist for incorporating therapy dogs into a school or library session. In any event, it is good to have an area set aside, perhaps a corner of a room where the dog will be aware of who is coming toward him. A quilt or blanket on the floor to define the space is also helpful, as is a sign asking that the reader and dog not be disturbed while they’re working together.
Some handlers like to work with several children at a time; others prefer one-on-one sessions.
Cirra listens to some good stories
at Camp Beech Cliff Library.
In an elementary school, the child's teacher or the school reading specialist will designate appropriate books. The youngsters say reading to a dog is fun and the dogs are good listeners. Thus, not only the good readers but also children with reading problems such as dyslexia or for whom English is their second language are benefiting from these sessions.
It's fun to share a good story.
In libraries, some teams show up on a regular basis and work with anyone who happens to be there and would like to read to them. Other teams prefer to have just one child at a time read for 15 to 20 minutes. In those cases, the child has signed up ahead of time, often weeks in advance, for their time slot. Some librarians have found that limiting the dog’s visits to once or twice a month keeps it new and exciting, and then it’s definitely something the children really look forward to.