In the fall of 2005, four second grade students in a Learning Support class hung a handmade banner over their reading corner proclaiming “Reading Rocks with Roxy Reading”. Roxy, the little brown dog therapy dog they had been reading to each week was the inspiration for this enthusiasm. No one could have predicted that these boys had just inadvertently named the “Roxy Reading” program, which would feed the enthusiasm of thousands of young readers and challenged children in the coming years!
Roxy Reading Therapy Dogs (RRTD) is a non-profit, all-volunteer program. Since our inception, the mission of RRTD has been to encourage a lifelong love of reading and to empower children who are struggling with reading through the use of therapy dogs. Today, RRTD still prioritizes the important role of nurturing literacy in our children.
Our dogs deliver self-esteem, relief from anxiety and fear, and a sense of well being. To a child who feels safe and relaxed, learning is accessible, and both physical and emotional healing is accelerated.
Recognizing the dramatic and positive changes in the children working with our first few therapy teams, more and more teachers requested visits for their students, the waiting lists grew and the children reaped the benefits.
By the time we earned non-profit status in 2010, 52 unpaid volunteer therapy dog teams were busy promoting literacy and comforting elementary school children with autism, multiple disabilities and other emotional, psychological and physical challenges.
In June, 2011, the Courthouse Dogs Program was piloted and launched in our local Dependency Court. Dozens of trained therapy teams now bring comfort, dry tears, and literally stand by children involved in lengthy court proceedings.
Today over 1000 children are positively impacted weekly through interaction with our therapy teams. We have served as a model to grow new programs benefitting children across the country. Our caring services are funded by donations, and provided by trained, certified and insured unpaid volunteers, entirely free of charge to families, schools and taxpayers.
Roxy Reading Therapy Dog programs are 100% dependent on generous donations from the community. Please consider making a tax deductible donation to keep these important programs alive.