On March 2, 2016, Dr. Seuss’ birthday, the tables were turned on seven Adams Elementary READ teams when the handlers helped the school celebrate the birthday by reading stories to the students, with their dogs in attendance. John Adams Elementary in Santa Ana, CA, has had AHF teams in their classrooms for eight years as reading dogs, with additional teams participating in the Adams monthly Saturday library program. On March 2, a combination of weekday and Saturday handlers brought their dogs to school and read books to the students. The participating teams were Gretchen Scott with Luna, Tammy Heider with Gracie, Suzanne Davidson with Juneau, Daleen Comer with Macy, Jim and Dorothy Taylor with Stryker, Geneva Comer with Bonnie, and Jane Horsfield with Kiss.
During the entire school day, 8:30 – 1:30, dog teams were on campus going to different classrooms for 20-minute sessions, during which the handlers read stories to the students, and allowed time for all the students to pet the dogs. Throughout the day, 24 classes of students were visited by the dogs and their partners. The dogs were in the spirit of the event, wearing Seuss fabric bandannas made by one of the members of the group. The books read by the handlers varied: some chose childhood favorites, some selected books their own children had loved, some picked dog-themed books, and some read the new Dr. Seuss book, “Which Pet Should I Get?” The students appreciated seeing the handlers in a more active role, and the dogs enjoyed the novelty of visiting multiple classrooms during their visit. One teacher commented, “Besides having the dogs in their rooms, the students were so excited to see the different dogs walking around the campus. If you all felt as good about it as we did, this definitely needs to be an annual event.” The READ teams agree!