Helping area children become better, more confident readers! 

HSTT’s Reading Program, RUFF (Read Up For Fun) is designed to build self esteem in young readers. Trained volunteers bring their dogs into area schools and libraries where children will read to the dog. The dog provides a comforting audience perfect for allowing children who lack confidence in their reading, a safe atmosphere to practice.

Children that read to an animal don't feel the same pressure or judgment that they would often feel in a classroom setting or with their peers. The relationship is mainly between the dog and the child. It's a much more relaxed environment. RUFF teams meet once a week with each of their students (same students each week to build a relationship and bond) for 20 minute intervals. The child brings a book from their classroom which the teacher has pre-selected and reads aloud to the dog. The handler is there to help the child if they need assistance pronouncing a word or help sounding one out. 

This program has become so succesful that our RUFF program along with our RUFF Volunteer Teams just received certificates of apprecation from the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District for supporting the TTUSD District reading programs and third grade district students. 

A Pet Partners, Alliance of Therapy Dogs or Love on a Leash Certification is required for this program. For more information on getting inovled with RUFF, please contact Erin Ellis, Community Engagement Director, at 530.582.2472 or