The PebbleCreek Irish American Club donated $2,000 to the R.E.A.D. program at Mutts on a Mission in Goodyear.
Mutts on a Mission is a therapy dog volunteer organization that provides comfort, support and healing to West Valley community members in need. Each human-dog team has gone through extensive training and testing to register as a therapy team.
“The scientific research behind the benefits of therapy animals to others is real,” the organization’s website states. “We share our dogs and witness the amazing love and joy they bring to everyone they meet. This journey we share with our four-legged partner is a simple yet extraordinary way we give back.”
The R.E.A.D. program supports children who need a hand in their school work. R.E.A.D. started with one school, Barbara B. Robey Elementary, 5340 Wigwam Creek Blvd., in Litchfield Park in 2017, and has expanded to Litchfield Elementary, 255 W. Wigwam Blvd., in Litchfield Park; Odyssey Preparatory Academy, 1495 S. Verrado Way, in Buckeye; and Littleton Elementary School, 1252 S. Avondale Blvd., in Avondale.
Each week a R.E.A.D. team goes to the school and works with the same child for quality one-on-one reading time. The child, who may be struggling with reading for any number of reasons, reads to the dog and receives tutoring from the human part of the team. The child reads aloud to the dog (and the human) without fear of judgment if they stumble.
“We work hand in hand with teachers in each school,” the organization’s website states. “After each reading session we debrief with the teacher and discuss how the child did and whether or not they are ready for more. Reading fluency is measured before, during and after each semester.”
In 2019 the program was able to give each child a new book every month.
Mutts on a Mission was founded as Therapy Paws in 2008 by five citizens in Goodyear. Visit muttsonamission.org if interested in becoming a therapy team with your dog.