Cause Area

  • Animals
  • Children & Youth
  • Community
  • Education & Literacy


2849 N. Clark St.Chicago, IL 60657 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

Through an engaging curriculum, support from volunteers and certified reading dogs, we help students across Chicago exceed reading standards.


Founded in 2003, SitStayRead is the leading dog-assisted literacy organization in the United States. We strive to bridge the achievement gap by serving students from low-income households attending Chicago Public Schools. Perhaps the best thing about our programs is that they are all free to our families and partner schools.Together with both human and canine volunteers, we work with students to improve their reading and writing skills. In the classroom, volunteers engage with students during various activities, building their confidence, and making a fun learning experience. We have programs in grades K-3, in 18 different schools throughout Chicago and the school year.


Would you recommend SitStayRead?
3 reviews Write a review
by sarah s. (August 27, 2011)
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!
by Mimi M. (August 25, 2011)
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!
by Linda V. (August 25, 2011)
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!

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