Pawsitive Reading

What is Pawsitive Reading?

Pawsitive Reading – a program in which children visit the shelter to read to the pets – is designed to provide enrichment for kids, dogs, and cats. Believe it or not, just listening to a person reading out loud has been proven to lower stress levels in animals! Pawsitive Reading is also a great way for kids to work on their literacy skills in safe, fun environment.

Generously sponsored by:

jim moran foundation logo
Kiddo Pawsitive Reading with Cat

In order to join the Pawsitive Reading program, children AND at least one parent/guardian must first attend a one-time Pawsitive Reading orientation. We offer several orientations each month. Upcoming orientation dates and sign-up links are below. Advance registration is required.

Upcoming Pawsitive Reading Orientations:

Please note: Parents/guardians must be the ones to sign up for an orientation and must accompany children to the orientation. When signing up, please select the number of tickets that reflects how many people will be attending the orientation. 4 family members = 4 tickets.

Pawsitive Reading orientations will not be held during June or July due to our Summer Camp schedule. 

Check back in late July for our August orientation schedule.

Orientations will take place in either the JHS Education Center or Conference Room (both are located upstairs, above the Adoption Center). Our address is 8464 Beach Blvd. Please arrive on time. The orientation will be around 40 minutes in length.

After attending an orientation, children and an adult chaperone may come to JHS to read to the animals anytime our Adoption Center is open (12pm-7pm on weekdays, 10am-5pm on weekends). Participants must sign in and out at the front desk when visiting JHS to read.

To ensure that our animals benefit from the program, we ask that readers spend at least 30 minutes reading – there is no maximum time limit.

Children may read to either dogs or cats and may bring their reading materials or borrow books from our Pawsitive Reading library.

Participants will receive a free book courtesy of The Jim Moran Foundation while supplies are available.

If you work with a group of children/students who are interested in joining the Pawsitive Reading program together – for example, a Scout troop, homeschool group, or club – we can schedule an orientation just for your group depending on our availability. Please email us at [email protected] about this possibility! We require a minimum of 10 children to facilitate a private Pawsitive Reading orientation.

Who can participate?

Children of all ages can participate in Pawsitive Reading. Pawsitive Readers must be accompanied by a parent/guardian or other adult chaperone while volunteering at JHS.

How does Pawsitive Reading help the animals?

Studies have shown that listening to a person reading out loud lowers stress levels in animals and helps them feel more relaxed! How cool is that? Shelters can be scary, stressful places for many pets, so here at JHS we try to do everything we can to help the dogs and cats feel as calm and happy as possible while they’re with us. Pawsitive Reading is a big part of that!

Pawsitive Reading also helps our animals feel more comfortable and confident around people. This will eventually help them in their new homes or around potential adopters!

How does Pawsitive Reading help youth readers?

This program also benefits the children involved, as it allows them to practice their reading while in a safe and fun environment. Reading out loud to our dogs and cats can boost kids’ literacy skills, as many children feel much more comfortable reading out loud to animals (as opposed to a teacher, parent, etc.).

Research from Tufts University in 2017 found that children who read aloud to dogs “demonstrated improved attitudes about reading.” A similar study conducted by the University of California, Davis in 2010 revealed that young students’ “reading fluency improved by 12 percent” after spending time reading out loud to animals.

Pawsitive Reading is also a wonderful way for kids to get involved in their community and help homeless animals in need.

Can my child earn community service hours through Pawsitive Reading?

Yes, absolutely! Many of our current Pawsitive Readers joined the program to earn volunteer hours for school or other programs. We track all of our readers’ reading hours and are happy to verify service when needed.

Is it possible to schedule a Pawsitive Reading orientation for a group?

If you work with a group of children/students who are interested in joining the Pawsitive Reading program together – for example, a Scout troop, homeschool group, or club – we can schedule an orientation just for your group depending on our availability. Please email us at [email protected] about this possibility!

RAM Day at JHS Square GraphicJoin us for Read Across America Day on Friday, March 1, 2024!

Stop by JHS to read out loud to our dogs and cats between 12-6:30 p.m. Between 3-6 p.m. only, enjoy special activities including free books for all participants (while supplies last), a JHS scavenger hunt, and family-friendly crafts benefiting the pets at JHS.

Learn more!

For more information, contact the Education Department:

Email: [email protected] • Phone: 904.493.4588

Go Top