chaaps2@gmail.com

250-983-4005

PO Box 4311

Quesnel BC

V2J 3J3

Mail: chaaps2@gmail.com CHAAPS Literacy & Education Program

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.

   
BENEFITS

•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.


WHY DOGS?

Dogs can’t read, but they can be great listeners! Their presence creates an inviting and motivating environment - relaxed, comfortable, safe, nonjudgmental, empowering and fun!

Dogs:

-Help increase relaxation and lower blood pressure

-Listen attentively

-Do not judge, laugh or criticize

-Allow children to proceed at their own pace

-Are less intimidating than peers

OUR VOLUNTEERS

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

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