According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), of the world’s 1.5 billion pre-primary to secondary students, only one in three will attend school in classrooms this fall.
As many parents continue to work from home, they are also helping their children learn virtually.
Pet Partners and Elanco are partnering for a new initiative, We Are All Ears, a Worldwide Read with Pets Project. The initiative encourages families and children to read to their pets.
“Reading to pets is an amazing way to get children excited about reading and engaged with the content,” said C. Annie Peters, president and CEO of Pet Partners in a press release. “Children who are learning to read are often hesitant about their reading abilities. Many kids feel more at ease reading to pets,who are simply there to listen – not to judge how well they are reading.”
Pet Partners is the national leader in demonstrating and promoting the health and wellness benefits of animal-assisted therapy, activities, and education. With most Pet Partners’ registered volunteer therapy animal teams across the country unable to conduct their regular therapy animal visits due to COVID-related restrictions, the organization is leading this already-proven animal-assisted activity, which is based on their Read With Me™ initiative involving children reading to therapy animals.
The press release offers the following tips for successfully reading to your pet:
• Set up a comfortable spot for the reader and pet to sit.
• Pets can get distracted, so have a favorite pet toy on hand to keep the pet engaged.
• Encourage your child to pause and pet your animal to keep them settled down and comfortable during the reading session.
• Reward your pet for their good listening behavior with a treat at the end of the reading session.
Participants are also encouraged to share photos and videos online using #WeAreAllEars and #PetPartners
When a family takes the pledge to read at home to their pets, they can determine a reading goal that is right for them, whether it is to read a certain number of books, pages, chapters, or minutes.
Families can also access some great resources to support families as they participate in We Are All Ears including a reading log, bookmark templates, a special BINGO card and a pet bandana, all to help encourage regular reading. A Certificate of Completion is also available
for parents to present to their child and pets upon reaching their goals. An official We Are All Ears T-shirt is for sale, with proceeds benefiting Pet Partners.
With more than 13,000 registered teams making more than 3 million visits annually, Pet Partners serves as the nation’s most prestigious nonprofit registering handlers of multiple species as volunteer teams.
Pet Partners teams visit with patients in recovery, people with intellectual disabilities, seniors living with Alzheimer’s, students, veterans with PTSD, and those approaching end of life, improving human health and well-being through the human-animal bond.
For more information on Pet Partners, visit petpartners.org.
Elanco Animal Health is dedicated to innovating and delivering products and services to prevent and treat disease in farm animals and pets, creating value for farmers, pet owners, veterinarians, stakeholders, and society as a whole. Learn more at www.elanco.com.
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