SitStayRead's mission is to to advance children’s literacy skills using an engaging curriculum, dedicated volunteers and certified dogs.
Founded in 2003, SitStayRead is the leading dog-assisted literacy organization in the United Stated that bridges the achievement gap in low-income Chicago Public Schools and local community centers by our teams of volunteers and Certified Reading Assistance Dogs.
With teams of both human and canine volunteers, we go into the classroom, during the school day, with our innovative and engaging curriculum focused on increasing students literacy skills. Our volunteers engage students in different reading and writing activities to not only build students' literacy skills, but to also build their confidence in their ability to read and write and to make it fun!
Our program goes into first, second, and third grades in 17 different Chicago Public Schools all throughout the school year. During an hour-long SitStayRead session, students will work with their human volunteers (Book Buddies) on different reading and writing activities, and will get a chance to visit with our Dog Teams (human + owned-Certified Reading Assistance Dog) to get to read out loud to our non-judgmental canine friends, certified through SitStayRead to be in the classroom.
Books and kids and dogs, what a great combination!
Sit Stay Read brings dogs into the classroom to help at-risk Chicago Public School kids improve their reading skills. By allowing children to read to a non-judgmental dog, the program has proven to improve fluency, attendance, and overall excitement about reading.
I volunteer quite often with the community outreach with my dog: setting up a booth at events such as Bucktown Arts Fest and Bark in the Park, to help spread the word about this amazing program, and hopefully bolster volunteer interest and raise some much-needed funds.
Come check out SitStayRead.org!
When I first came to Chicago and found about SitStayRead, I thought what could be cooler than KIDS, BOOKS and DOGS?!?
Well, it truly is a unique organization and is super to work with. SSR is organized, offers many different opportunities for volunteers with or without dogs, inside or outside of classrooms, things that can be done from a distance etc. Plus, the staff at SSR is FANTASTIC! They are so welcoming and inviting and always make me (as a volunteer) feel truly valued.
Cannot say enough wonderful things about SSR. If you are interested in helping kids learn to read/improve their reading, if you want to work with your dog or just be a part a really cool and fun and well run nonprof, SitStayRead is for you!
The program is very well organized. The training was not overly time consuming yet i felt very well prepared my first time in the classroom. The communication from the program leaders is excellent. Everything is communicated by email so there is no need for excessive phone calls. And what could be more rewarding than seeing young children progress in reading and writing, especially in the company of cute dogs!