Delta Classroom Canines
Classroom Canines is a program aimed at improving children’s confidence, health and well-being by providing schools with a powerful additional learning tool to encourage student development. The program concentrates on children that have difficulties with reading and writing but are not part of a remedial reading program.
Using our specially trained volunteers and their attentive, loyal and non-judgmental dogs, Classroom Canines is a unique reading program with a focus on assisting children to improve their literacy skills.
Volunteers and their dogs visit their allocated school weekly at a time that coincides with the student’s lessons on reading, they can work individually with one child or in a group setting. This allows the volunteer and the dog to build an ongoing relationship and trust with their young friends.
Scientifically proven benefits for students
Research has found that animals are useful in the promotion of health, well-being and normal development in children
Animals can be a way of improving quality of life as a tool for socialising, relaxation and communication
Animals can help a child who may be experiencing anxiety and stress
Occasional contact with animals is beneficial in providing children with the opportunity to display independence and confidence
Children may learn to gain an awareness of pro-social behaviour in regard to treating animals appropriately
Contact with animals provides opportunities for sensory stimulation and exercise and enables children to receive and give attention and affection
The dog provides a non-judgmental acceptance of the student
Research papers on the Classroom Canines Program
Lloyd, J. & Sorin, R. (2014) “I liked that you can pat the dog and interact with it and read to it” – Engaging the imagination: The effect of the Classroom CaninesTM program on reading and social/emotional skills of selected primary school students. 2014 Imaginative Education Research Group (IERG) 9th International Conference on Imagination and Education - Imagination: The Great workhorse of learning, July 2-4, 2014, http://ierg.ca/how-we-can-help/conferences/conference-proceedings/ pp.1-5, Vancouver, Canada.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does each lesson last?
Lessons are general 60 to 90 minutes long. This should be suitable for the comfort level of your dog, while allowing the opportunity to maximise the benefits of the program for the children.
How often do I need to visit my assigned school?
Generally, visits occur once every week. The volunteer and school can discuss an appropriate day and time to schedule visits to fit in with your schedule and coincide with reading lessons.
Can I choose the school I visit?
We will work with you to ensure you are happy with the school you are assigned.
How far will I have to travel to get to my allocated school?
We aim to assign facilities no more than 20 minutes travelling time from your home.
What is the cost?
As a non-profit organisation, the Delta Society relies heavily on donations and support from the community to keep our programs operating. We ask schools that wish to participate in the Delta Classroom Canines program to contribute $1,000 per year for each visiting Classroom Canines team. This contribution goes towards recruitment, assessment, training, insurance, uniforms and other volunteer support. Volunteers do not receive any remuneration for their participation.