Anderson Children's Foundation

Loving All Animals

Dogs Help Kids Read (2016-2017)

How Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed In the Classroom is a creative, innovative, and fun year-long in-school program that meets 31 Common Core State Standards in Language Arts in second grade. This program helps children become stronger, more motivated readers while learning safety around dogs and compassion for them. Each child is given a stuffed dog to name and “foster” at school, which they then get to “adopt” and take home after the final I’m Doggone Awesome Reading Celebration and Adoption Ceremony.

Part One of the program consists of ten sixty-minute in-class lessons and follow-up BoneWork challenges for second grade students to complete at home with their parents. Each week, children and parents learn fun and effective word study strategies, comprehension skills, and fluency techniques while learning valuable lessons about safety around and compassion for animals. Part Two consists of 10 applied learning literacy projects that provide students with meaningful opportunities to bring their plush dogs back to school.

Although this program began only two years ago, nearly 1,400 children and their parents will have participated in this program in the Coachella Valley by December, 2016. Dr. Lori Friesen, the founder and creator, is currently designing the 1st grade curriculum, which will be piloted in January of 2017. For more information and to get your school involved, please contact Dr. Lori at