Home Carrollton Community Collaborative: Bring Reading to Life With a Dog

Community Collaborative: Bring Reading to Life With a Dog

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Coming to Carrollton City and Carroll County elementary schools fall 2019! Why? One of the indicators of future success is our student’s ability to read at grade level by the 3rd grade. Unfortunately, for multiple reasons, many of our students are unable to meet this goal. Current programs and prior studies have shown that spending time reading to dogs has improved many student’s reading skills. In addition to improving their reading level, reading and being around dogs can also help lower stress and anxiety. Both the city and county schools are working with Barks and Books to bring this opportunity to our students fall of 2019. (Temple and Sharp Creek Elementary in County school system)

If you have been looking for an opportunity to help in our schools, make a difference in the life of our children, and enjoy a day out with your dog, please consider joining us. We have planned for 25 dog/handler teams so space is limited for the initial year. The dog/handler teams will complete an assessment, January 12/13, 2019. The actual training will begin February 3rd and will be completed by mid-May. The classes will be Sunday afternoons, will last an hour and will be held in locations around Carrollton/Carroll County.

If you currently don’t have a dog but are interested, the Carroll County Animal Shelter will be offering free adoption for dogs to be trained and be a part of Barks and Books. Contact Jill Duncan (404) 323-4683 or Susie at the Carroll County Animal Shelter (770) 214- 3590.

Some of the expectations and guidelines:
Handlers will go through Mentor Village training which will be held on a Saturday morning and will last for about 2 hours. This will help you be more comfortable around children as well provide a 50 state background check. The training commitment is about 4 months. The dog/handler team will have to complete and pass assessments to receive certification and be admitted into the program. (Initial assessment will be January 12/13 for determination of ability). Dogs must be at least 1 year old. We are asking each team to be in the schools for a minimum of 2 hours per month for at least 2 years(unless the dog is no longer able or the team moves away from our area). Handlers must be at least 18. Teachers will identify students who they feel will benefit most from the program and will work with administrators for scheduling.

Cost for all training, assessment, certification, and vest and other items is $615. Thanks to the generosity of the Alice H.Richards Foundation, we have received some funding to help offset the expense if needed (contact for more information). We have also received a generous grant from the Community Foundation of West Georgia through Power of the Purse to help pay for the Mentor Village training and background check.

Certifications that you and your dog will attain are Canine Good Citizen training and Therapy Dog 11 (R.E.A.D). Once these certifications are earned, you and your dog won’t be limited to just working in the schools, there could be many opportunities for you and your team in our community. Email Jill Duncan if interested [email protected] or Visit our Facebook page!