Zoom Reading to Dogs

In-person reading to therapy dog programs are popular because dogs don't judge, interrupt or correct and as the child reads their confidence grows. In May 2020, a partner middle school asked if a student could read to one of our dogs on Zoom.  As we watched this middle schooler read we saw that the power of the dog transcended the screen.  

Schools were shuttered and learning loss was a major concern, especially regarding literacy in the early grades. Children who fall behind early on, often have a difficult time catching up and the negative impact can be lifelong.  We recognized both the need and opportunity to create an online reading to dogs program during the pandemic.

 JCC Manhattan Partnership

Dog Books for Dogs

What else would you read to a dog? A Fair Shake provides dog-themed books to get kids started, creating instant connection and assuring the kids have a book to read.  As the students progress we offer books across topics -- about sharks, dragons, cats or biographies.  In addition to learning to read, they learn to love reading and learning!

Volunteer with Us!

Because dogs are not interacting in-person, dogs do not need to be therapy dogs to participate. So, if you like children, have a dog and are comfortable being creative and spontaneous, apply to volunteer

Screen Shot 2021-05-28 at 11.39.07 AM.png


Judy Gross, 
Director, JCC Literacy and Math Program

Our students adore the AFSY dogs. Children who would never volunteer to read aloud in their classrooms are eager to read to their loving and patient pups.