ARF! (Animals + Reading = Fun!)
Buddy and Friend photo

ARF! is an innovative literacy program that gives students in grades K-6 an opportunity to improve their reading skills and inspire them to become life-long readers by reading aloud to specially trained therapy dogs.

A Simple Idea With Profound Results
A child, especially one who is having trouble reading, may be reluctant to read aloud in front of a teacher or peers. However, when a child sits down to read to a dog friend, something magical happens. The dog’s tail begins to wag and the child smiles and relaxes. The child starts to look forward to the reading sessions because his or her dog friend listens calmly to every word without criticizing or judging. And, before long, the child’s parents and teachers begin to notice something different… the child, once shy and reserved in the classroom, begins to raise his or her hand to read aloud or, for the first time, to check out a book from the library to read at home.

ARF! Focuses on Elementary School Aged Children
Children in grades K-3 are “learning to read” and by fourth grade, they are “reading to learn.” It’s vitally important that children become proficient readers in the early grades in order for them to be successful in all school subjects, which helps them in all facets of their lives. As the famed Dr. Seuss once said, “The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

In-School and After-School Programs
ARF! currently runs in-school and after-school programs for first-, second-, and third-grade children at several Title 1 (low-income) elementary schools in Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Ojai.

All ARF! programs are provided at no cost to our partner schools and libraries as well as to children’s organizations. Please consider making a DONATION so we may continue to inspire children to become better readers and develop empathy for animals!

Thank you for supporting ARF! and helping us provide free programs to the following partners!