BaRK Reading Program

BaRK is a free eight-week program to assist reluctant readers. Children practice reading aloud on a one-to-one basis to a trained therapy dog from the Delta Society.

Dogs are great listeners!

When reading to a dog, children enjoy an environment of unconditional acceptance and emotional support. Our animal assisted reading program removes stress and peer pressure for the reluctant reader. BaRK makes reading fun.

What is BaRK and where is it offered?

BaRK is a free eight week program that allows children to practice reading on a one-to-one basis to a trained therapy dog. The dog’s trainer will sit near-by to assist the child if needed. BaRK is available at various Lake Mac Libraries' branches. Please contact 4921 0731 for more details or see the BaRK Brochure (PDF).

How does BaRK encourage reluctant readers to read?

A bond is encouraged between child and dog by having the same child read to the same dog each week. The dog allows children to gain confidence and self esteem by providing his/her love and attention in an atmosphere free of criticism.

The dogs in the BaRK program love to listen. Such an environment allows children to feel less self-conscious - dogs don’t worry if a child stutters or mispronounces a word.

What type of students will benefit from BaRK?

The BaRK program is beneficial to all children struggling with their reading. This confidence building program also benefits children who lack self esteem or who are shy. Any primary aged children experiencing difficulty in reading may be nominated for the program by a teacher or parent.

How does it work?

BaRK offers an eight week program during school terms. Each session is fifteen minutes. Families must commit to the full eight week program. For more information please contact 4921 0731 or see the BaRK Brochure (PDF). You can also print out the BaRK Application Form and submit it at your nearest branch.

How are BaRK dogs trained?

BaRK dogs are trained through the Delta Dogs Pet Partners Program. This program involves temperament testing of dogs and training the volunteers to become pet partner teams. Volunteers and their Delta Dogs also visit hospitals and nursing homes. The dog trainer will also have completed a Working with Children check.