In 2016, the San Antonio Humane Society partnered with Glenoaks Elementary School to create a program for students needing additional reading practice. Throughout the year a humane educator and canine companion visited the school and the students participating in the program took turns reading out loud to this special animal ambassador. On alternating months, the students visited the San Antonio Humane Society to read to the puppies and kittens available for adoption.
The benefits of this program were twofold – the kids were given a chance to practice reading in a comfortable, judgement-free zone, and the animals gained valuable social time. By the end of the year, the students’ reading abilities showed remarkable improvement, and scores jumped several levels for all students participating. The SAHS has expanded this wonderful program to include several schools in San Antonio.
In 2021, the SAHS added a new component to the Tales for Tails reading program - webcams! These cameras allowed the program to go virtual, meaning that students could continue to practice reading to a furry friend without traveling to the shelter. The ability to connect with Tales for Tails students in a virtual way has been a bright spot in a year that has been filled with challenges and uncertainty.