Capstone/Dissertation Title

How Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D. dogs) in an Elementary Intervention Program are Perceived by Teachers and Students

Term

Summer 8-15-2014

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MALED

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Marcia Rockwood

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Kelly DeSmet

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Randy Gallatin

Abstract

Stemming from a love of dogs and the companionship they provide, along with teaching remedial reading, this capstone set out to answer the question of, how are Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D. dogs) in an elementary intervention program perceived by teachers and students? The R.E.A.D. program is built around the simple premise that dogs don’t judge, and thus when a child reads to a dog they relax. Therefore, this paper examines research in the areas of Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT), Humane Education, and Reading Education Assistance Dog programs- all of which use animals, specifically dogs, to assist in student learning in literacy. The question was answered based on surveys and interviews from the students and teachers at three buildings where a R.E.A.D. program was in place. These methods, perceptions, and attitudes about the program were measured to understand the value of the R.E.A.D. programs at those schools.

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