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How therapy dogs can be an intervention tool for struggling readers | Karen Burns | TEDxSaltLakeCity

By Karen Burns

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Learning to read is arguably one of the most important skills taught in school, and it is no surprise how challenging it can be. Karen Burns knows how the reading skills gap can affect someone for their entire life. In this poignant, and sometimes funny, talk, Karen tells us how man's best friend helps create top-dog readers. After working in the corporate world for many years, Karen Burns found her true passion in a non-profit organization, Intermountain Therapy Animals (ITA). Karen is the Assistant Director of ITA and manages Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) Programs in 30 (and growing) schools and libraries in the state of Utah. She has partnered with three different therapy animals over the past two decades, and is also a licensed ITA Workshop Instructor and R.E.A.D. Instructor. Karen enjoys traveling around the country and internationally training others to use our literacy support program, R.E.A.D., in their communities. Karen remains passionate about sharing the gifts our four-footed friends can offer people during difficult times in their lives. They offer hope, healing, fun and a sense of normalcy in settings where that is rarely otherwise possible.


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2019
Publisher TEDx Talks
Location of Publication Salt Lake City, UT
Size/Length 12:25
Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal-assisted activities
  2. Animal roles
  3. Dogs
  4. Libraries
  5. Literacy
  6. Literacy programs
  7. Mammals
  8. open access
  9. Pets and companion animals
  10. Reading
  11. Reading assistance dogs
  12. Schools
  1. open access