The number and variety of animal assisted therapy activities is almost endless. Simply reading through the testaments, example activities and quarterly magazines on Alliance of Therapy Dogs will give you hundreds of examples of therapy activities in practice. That said, Summit Therapy Animals currently performs 3 primary activities with our Therapy Teams:
Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.): We are active in almost every school in Summit County with the R.E.A.D. program. Each Therapy Team active in R.E.A.D. volunteers at a specific school and makes regular "reading with a dog" visits throughout the school year. Each school will have a slightly different format for this activity, so we work with the school's Principal and Literacy Teachers to define how we execute the program. R.E.A.D. is a nationally recognized program, with over a decade of proven research and results - to summarize the national program:
The R.E.A.D. program improves children's reading and communication skills by employing a powerful method: reading to a dog. We utilize the companionship of therapy animals to build and encourage children's love of books and the reading environment, and provide an opportunity for them to practice the full range of communication skills. Research indicates that positive experiences like this will help lay the foundation for a lifetime of learning, and a higher quality life.
Summer Library "reading with a dog" programs. We are active in all 3 Summit County Libraries (Frisco, Silverthorne, Breckenridge) during the summer months. Therapy Teams active in this program will make weekly visits to a specific library and offer "reading with a dog" as a part of the library's "summer reading program". Children have the chance to read to one of our therapy dogs for 10-20 minutes intervals. This summer program is not as structured as the R.E.A.D. program in schools - instead it is focused on kids having fun reading throughout the summer. Keeping children engaged and excited about reading all summer is the goal & reward of this program.
St. Anthony Hospital visits. We have Therapy Teams that make regular visits to St. Anthony Hospital in Frisco. During a visit, a team will make "rounds" through specific areas and rooms identified by the hospital. The Therapy Team will meet with both patients & staff and offer the companionship of the Therapy Animal to bring peace, comfort and compassion into a typically tense and stressful environment.
We are happy to help & advise any new Therapy Team get involved in any of the above activities. Or, think of a new activity you would like to perform with your Therapy Animal partner and we will help & advise you to get the activity up & running in or nearby Summit County.
The limits are endless, the rewards are infinite...