PO Box 4311
The CHAAPS Literacy & Education Program promotes reading, improvement and development
of literacy skills, as well as other academic skills with the assistance of dogs.
It is a subsidiary of our main program; CHAAPS which offers therapeutic riding and
animal assisted therapy.
The CHAAPS Literacy & Education Program was established by a donation from the Rotary Club of Quesnel Sunrise 2000 and has been further developed thanks to a donation from the Forestry Legacy Foundation –Raiser-A-Reader program http://westcoastpulpcharity.com
HOW IT WORKS
A volunteer Dog Team (the owner and their dog) will work with one student in a quiet,
comfortable setting, sitting on the floor with the dog. The volunteer will shift
the child from being the target, towards the dog instead - reading out loud to the
dog, as well as answering the questions the dog may ask (on behalf of the volunteer),
i.e. “Can you tell Charlie....”
Having the student/child see themselves as tutors and helpers for the dog is empowering
and satisfying. Children with low self-esteem are often more willing to interact
with an animal than another person.
Children focus better on an activity, or discussion, when an animal is present; and
in this environment are inclined to forget about their limitations. They find reading
to an animal less intimidating, thus a ‘dreaded’ reading exercise can be transformed
into a fun and positive experience.
Our sessions also include Animal Assisted Activities -AAA. These are skills-based
learning activities that include the dogs as teaching partners. They assist in the
development of fine and gross motor skills, as well social and cognitive skills –
i.e., learning the dog’s breed and country of origin, how to care for a dog, and
teaching the dog tricks and basic obedience.
HISTORY OF PROGRAMS
The concept of this type of program is not new, but common worldwide with established
programs operating since 1999. They fall under the realm of Animal Assisted Therapy
or Animal Assisted Activities.
•Children improve their reading skills in a unique and fun environment, free of performance pressure.
•The program is flexible and can be implemented in many settings.
•The program effortlessly crosses all socioeconomic and cultural lines, since the animals are without bias and judgment.
•Children gain self-esteem as they begin to master the skill of reading.
•The program addresses the “whole person” of the child, thus the benefits overflow
into other areas of the child’s life beyond reading and intellectual skills.
Dogs can’t read, but they can be great listeners! Their presence creates an inviting
and motivating environment - relaxed, comfortable, safe, nonjudgmental, empowering
-Help increase relaxation and lower blood pressure
-Do not judge, laugh or criticize
-Allow children to proceed at their own pace
-Are less intimidating than peers
Our Volunteer Dog Teams consist of a dog and their owner. They are required to obtain
a RCMP criminal record check and complete a confidentiality form.
They also receive additional training for this program based on the R.E.A.D.-Intermountain
Therapy Animal program http://www.therapyanimals.org/R.E.A.D.html
Our dogs are trained and tested for health, safety, appropriate skills and temperament to perform in our programs.
"Happiness is a warm puppy." Charles Schultz
All content, images and photographs © Cariboo Hoofbeats Assisted Activity Program Society – CHAAPS 2007-2016 - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED