Welcome to the TALES of JOY R.E.A.D.® Program website.

Welcome to the TALES of JOY R.E.A.D.® Program website.

Reading Has Gone to the DOGS!!

CGC Certified – Registered Therapy dogs that is!

Why READ to dogs?

Dogs are the ideal reading companions . . .


droppedImageIncreases relaxation and lowers blood pressure.

Children proceed at their own pace.

Dogs do not judge, laugh or criticize.

Less intimidating than peers.

Dogs listen attentively.


TALES of JOY R.E.A.D.® Program is an Associate Program registered with Intermountain Therapy Animals.  ITA launched R.E.A.D. (Reading Education Assistance Dogs) in 1999 and has grown to hundreds of registered R.E.A.D. teams throughout the United States and Canada.

“PAW” through our website and see how this amazing program improves the reading skills and overall well-being of the children that participate!

Become a Member

Do you own a dog?

Do you enjoy working with children?

Do you like to read and understand the benefit of being a strong and confident reader?

How about combining these interests and joining  our TALES of JOY R.E.A.D.® Program.

The TALES of JOY R.E.A.D.® Program teams have participated in several hours of handler and dog training classes.  All of our teams have earned their AKC Canine Good Citizen Certificate (CGC).  In addition each team is a registered therapy team through Therapy Dogs Incorporated or Delta Society.

The commitment our teams have to their dog(s), their training and this program is apparent with each R.E.A.D. session.  The smiles, the tail wags and the benefits to the students is priceless.  I am proud to be the Program Coordinator to such a dedicated group of people and such a beneficial program.

To view our complete program criteria and training requirements click on the link below.  Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.  We are also able to supply referrals to local training facilities and are here to assist you every step of the way!


Become a TOJ R E A D team 2011

Contact and Program Information

Theresa McKinney

Program Coordinator



TOJ Brochure


Community programs

  • Loma Colorado Library –
  • Call for information and schedule
  • (505) 891-5013


  • Esther Bone Branch Library –
  • Call for information and schedule
  • (505) 891-5012, press 4


  • Presbyterian Ear Institute PEI
  • Cuba Programs New Mexico
  • Jackie Barron
  • (505) 249-3118


TALES of JOY R.E.A.D.® Program is a group of volunteer handlers and dogs that supply reading intervention/tutoring for teacher selected students within Rio Rancho Public Schools.  Each handler and dog has gone through extensive training, has their CGC certificate and is a registered therapy team with Therapy Dogs Incorporated or Delta Society.  We volunteer on a weekly basis with each student.  Students read aloud to “their” R.E.A.D.® dog and in doing so improve their reading skills, social skills and confidence levels!  Reading becomes a JOY !!!

TALES of JOY R.E.A.D. ® Program also does several Child/Dog Safety presentations at the Before and After School program, S.A.F.E., within Rio Rancho Public Schools.  Teams also participate in the annual Reader’s Café for first grade Reading Recovery students, a wonderful opportunity for students to show off their greatly improved reading skills.

Dogs at the library?  Yes, our TALES of JOY R.E.A.D.® Program dogs visit the local libraries on a regular basis.  Children sign up in advance to come and read to one of our “reading” dogs.  A wonderful way to spend time in the library reading to a “furry” friend.

Several of our teams also visit area nursing homes on a regular basis.  The TALES of JOY that are brought by interactions with dogs in our schools, community and homes are never ending . . .

Data Reports

Our TALES of JOY R.E.A.D.® Program began in several Rio Rancho Public Elementary schools in January 2006 with our pilot program for the second semester and has continued each school year since with wonderful success!  We continue to grow, learn and supply teacher selected students with the individual reading attention required to improve their reading skills.

“When a R.E.A.D. dog is listening, the environment is transformed, a child’s dread is replaced by eager anticipation, and learning occurs.  The handler is a skilled facilitator, too – shifting performance pressure off the child and providing support, while the child gets the supervised reading practice necessary to build vocabulary, increase understanding of the material, and gain fluency as a reader.” (from the R.E.A.D. brochure)

In addition to the improvement in reading skills, each child grows in confidence, social and speaking skills and gains a sense of personal accomplishment.  Children look forward to reading, look forward to the attention and time spent with “their” R.E.A.D.® Dog!

The TALES of JOY R.E.A.D.® Program collects data each year to document our program and the benefits to the students.  Reading scores are collected beginning, middle and end of year to see the progress of the students.  In addition the teachers complete a Teacher Survey and parents are asked to complete a Parent  comment form.  All data is compiled into a Data report which is presented to the Superintendent of Rio Rancho Public Schools and also sent to the home office of Intermountain Therapy Animals.

Take a moment and click on the links below to view our Data reports.  The benefits to our students is “pawsitively” wonderful!

TOJ End of Year 2014-2015

TOJ End of Year 2013-2014

TOJ End of Year 2012-2013

TOJ End of Year 2011-2012

TOJ End of Year 2010-2011

TOJ End of Year 2009-2010

TOJ End of Year 2008-2009

TOJ End of Year 2006-2007

TOJ End of Year 2007-2008

TOJ End of Year 2005-2006-Pilot Program