How to become a READ® team

READ stands for Reading Education Assistance Dogs. The mission of the READ program is to improve the literacy skills of children through the assistance of registered therapy teams as literacy mentors.  It is Welcome Waggers policy to make READ available to children of all abilities. READ dogs are registered therapy animals who volunteer with their owner/handlers as a team, going to schools, libraries and many other settings as reading companions for children.  For more details about the benefits of the READ program click the link in the Related Links section of this page.

To become a READ team there are four steps:

1.      Be registered with an animal-assisted therapy group such as ATD.  All Welcome Wagger members are therefore qualified.

2.      Contact the local READ Coordinator Jacque Barrington (see 'Contact us' page) and arrange to study the READ manual or training package.

3.      Complete the registration package from the manual, consisting of an application, policies and procedures, and a 35 question written test.

4.       Send the registration package to Intermountain Therapy Animals (who manage the READ program), along with a copy of your ATD membership card and the lifetime membership fee (currently $40 for Welcome Wagger members).

Then you’ll be ready to volunteer at one of the many places where we read with children.  Current READ sites include Benton County Public Libraries (Corvallis, Philomath, Monroe), North Albany Elementary School, Corvallis Elementary Schools, Philomath Middle School, and Salem-Roberts School middle and high alternative schools.