Learning to Read with the SPCA

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Dogs are integral to the social fabric of our lives. San Francisco’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has been a leader in the humane treatment of animals since 1868, with a mission to “save and protect animals, provide care and treatment, advocate for their welfare and enhance the human animal bond.”

This spring, Joseph Boothby, a Hamlin parent, offered an opportunity for our students to work closely with the SPCA and their Puppy Dog Tales program. The program is for first graders who are learning to read, and offers a non-judgmental setting to cultivate literacy skills, while bonding with a trained dog. Reading to a dog does not produce the same anxiety as reading to a peer or an adult, and the social emotional safety allows for students to practice, while ultimately fostering a love of books.

In the coming weeks students will have the opportunity to read and to spend time with a dog accompanied by an SPCA volunteer.  The relationship will no doubt create a space for mutual affection, self-confidence, and the development of budding reading skills.

For more information about the Puppy Dog Tales program, please visit:




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