Children who participate in canine-assisted reading programs are likely to develop confidence in their reading skills and find reading to be more enjoyable. While there has not yet been an extensive amount of data to be found to prove the effectiveness of children reading to therapy dogs at drop-in library programs, a research study conducted by the Davis Veterinary Medicine Extension at the University of California found that school children who read to therapy dogs on a regular basis improve their reading fluency by 12 percent. Studies that are available on canine-assisted library reading programs have found results for improvements in oral reading fluency and accuracy, along with significant increases in engaged reading time and significant improvements in reading skills, such as the ability to explain, describe, analyze, and infer.
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The purpose of a reading to dogs program is to provide children with a comfortable environment to practice their reading skills. In an interview with ABC, Francine Alexander, the chief academic officer for Scholastic, mentions that it is often easier for children to read aloud to dogs than in front of classmates because there is no embarrassment if mistakes occur. In 2010, the University of California-Davis completed a study on reading to dog programs, which suggested that children who read to dogs improved their own reading skills in comparison to children who did not read to dogs, based on the results of the Oral Text Reading for Comprehension Test. The program involved reading to dogs once a week for ten weeks. Children who read to dogs also reported a greater enjoyment of reading than children who did not read to dogs.