What is the RedRover Readers program?
The RedRover Readers program is a unique social and emotional learning program helping children practice critical thinking, empathy and the skills necessary for positive relationships while engaging with stories and discussions.
How long has the program been active?
The RedRover Readers program was launched in 2007.
What is the RedRover Readers curriculum?
The RedRover Readers curriculum is a collection of Discussion and Activity Guides designed for specially chosen, high-quality children’s literature coupled with specific question strategies, discussion techniques and follow-up activities.
Has the RedRover Readers program been researched? What are the benefits?
Yes, Inverness Research Inc. conducted a pilot study to investigate the effectiveness of the RedRover Readers curriculum, then called the Humane Education Ambassador Readers (HEAR) program, in 2009. The researchers found that the RedRover Readers program:
- Builds self-esteem and motivates students to take an important subject seriously
- Stimulates additional student-directed learning
- Builds students’ knowledge and potentially affects their behaviors related to caring for pets
- Builds students’ empathy and compassion for pets
A draft research proposal for a controlled study was developed with assistance from the Institute of Human Animal Connection at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work. Funding is still needed to complete the research; however, the project is also available for interested PhD research students looking for project ideas.
Is there a way for me to see if the program has benefited my students?
Yes, RedRover has identified two measures (student reports) to assess the effectiveness of the RedRover Readers curriculum. After you have been trained to implement the RedRover Readers curriculum, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and request the measures and a teacher research packet.
What is the target age for the RedRover Readers program?
The target age for the RedRover Readers program is third- and fourth-grade students. Cognitively speaking, children at this age are developing the complex perspective-taking skills that are needed to take the perspectives of the characters – both human and non-human – in the stories and understand that their perspective might be different from their peers. Perspective-taking is a precursor for building empathy.
Can children who are not in third or fourth grade participate?
Yes! Children in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade have participated in the RedRover Readers program and were highly engaged. Teachers teaching other grades than third and fourth grade are still encouraged to get trained to implement the RedRover Readers curriculum.
Are live dogs included in the RedRover Readers program?
Live animals are not included in the RedRover Readers program. Instead, we allow children to explore their own thoughts, feelings and experiences about animals and the thoughts, feelings and experiences of their peers through critical thinking discussions. Often unknown allergies, fears and negative experiences are shared. It may also be a distraction to have a live animal in the classroom and would likely detract from the in-depth discussions and the stories shared during the program. For the goals we wish to achieve – helping children practice critical thinking, empathy and the skills necessary for positive relationships – we believe that in a classroom setting there are greater benefits to be gained from imagining a strong, positive friendship with an animal and how that personally relates to them than experiencing a brief interaction with an animal.
I have a therapy animal, who I bring with me to my classroom, hospitals and schools, can I bring my dog with me when I implement the RedRover Readers program?
RedRover Readers curriculum is designed to be implemented without a live companion animal such as a dog present, so it is best to leave your dog at home.
The goal of the RedRover Readers program is different from read-to-dogs programs. RedRover is focused on building empathy, critical thinking and positive relationship skills. Read-to-dogs programs are designed to increase a child’s confidence in reading aloud and have other benefits unique from the RedRover Readers program. RedRover sets the stage for other programs, like reading to dogs or traditional shelter-based humane education, to be used more effectively following the RedRover Readers curriculum.
Where can I find the RedRover Readers curriculum?
Once you have completed the RedRover Readers training you are given access to the RedRover Readers curriculum online.
Is the RedRover Readers curriculum free?
Yes, the RedRover Readers curriculum is free to those who have been trained by RedRover to implement it.
How do I get trained to implement the RedRover Readers curriculum?
RedRover offers online and in-person professional development workshops. These trainings are geared toward educators. More information about upcoming RedRover Readers trainings
RedRover also offers free professional development workshops for school districts.
How do I arrange a RedRover Readers in-person professional development workshop at my school?
To request a RedRover Readers professional development workshop for your elementary school or school district, email your request to email@example.com. The more information about your site (city, state, facility name, how many educators would like to attend, your name, the name of your professional development coordinator, etc.) the easier it is for us to meet your request. More information is available here.
How much does the training cost?
For a limited time, RedRover is providing free on-site professional development training to school districts and individual elementary schools wanting to adopt RedRover Readers curriculum.
The registration fee for individual educators to attend the online training is $55.
I am a teacher. How can I bring the program to my classroom?
Teachers can bring the RedRover Readers program to their classroom by taking the training either online or in-person. Before 2013, RedRover trained volunteers to visit classrooms and implement the RedRover Readers curriculum in five consecutive visits. Volunteers are still available but only in select cities. Because we do not have volunteers in every city nationwide, teachers are encouraged to take the training and use the curriculum with their own students. Teachers who have participated in the RedRover Readers program report using the curriculum in other areas of their teaching and that they know much more about their students as a result of the program.
Where can I read testimonials from real teachers who have participated and recommend the program?
I am a humane educator, how can I learn how to implement the RedRover Readers curriculum?
As a humane educator you are able to attend the online professional development training to learn how to implement the RedRover Readers curriculum.
Can I use the RedRover Readers curriculum at my humane society and/or the animal shelter where I work/volunteer as a humane educator?
Yes, once you have been trained by RedRover to implement the RedRover Readers curriculum, you can implement the curriculum through your organization. We ask that you please make mention of the “RedRover Readers” curriculum when implementing it.
I am a RedRover Readers trained teacher. Where do I report about my visits?
Teachers who have been trained to implement the RedRover Readers curriculum should report their readings using the confidential link you were given when you trained. If you no longer have this link, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request that the reporting link be resent to you.
I am a teacher. Do I get a free book for completing the RedRover Readers professional development training Humane Literacy: Promoting Empathy, Critical Thinking and Language Skills in the Classroom?
Yes, certified teachers who attend the RedRover Readers professional development training online receive a free book for completing the course.
What is the Celebration Book Party Pack and how do I get one for my classroom?
The Celebration Book Party Pack includes everything a teacher would need to implement the program: a set of five humane-themed books, stickers, pencils and the entire RedRover Readers curriculum. Teachers receive a Celebration Book Party Pack after joining the RedRover Readers Facebook Cause, completing the online professional development course and funding raising $250 with RedRover through the RedRover’s Support an Educator in the RedRover Readers program Cause. More information about the Celebration Book Party Pack
Where can I get the books in the RedRover Readers curriculum? Does RedRover sell the books?
RedRover does not sell the books that are used in the RedRover Readers curriculum. The books are available at local bookstores, libraries and from online retailers such as Powells.com, Borders.com and Amazon.com.
I am a parent with a child in elementary school. What information can I give my son or daughter’s teacher to let them know about the RedRover Readers program?
Thank you for wanting to promote the RedRover Readers program. RedRover has a letter that you can bring to your son or daughter’s teacher about the program and the benefits of RedRover Readers. Please email email@example.com and request the Letter for Educators. We would be happy to send you a copy. You can also refer educators to our website, www.redrover.org/readers.