Establishing a Climate of Care and Safety: Considerations for Volunteers’ Entry and Sustained Involvement in Animal-Assisted Literacy Programs in Elementary Classrooms

Part of the Educating the Young Child book series (EDYC, volume 8)


As an animal-assisted literacy mentor and researcher in one grade 2 classroom over the course of 3 months, the author of this chapter conducted interviews with the parents, the classroom teacher, and the students themselves. Observations and interview data indicated that careful planning with regard to establishing and nurturing an atmosphere of care and trust in the classroom setting contributed greatly to the success of this program. Drawing on current research involving children and animals in elementary classrooms, literacy theory, and contemporary school-based mentorship research, this chapter offers animal-assisted literacy volunteers/mentors and the organizations they are involved with concrete guidelines and suggestions that may be helpful in preparing for initial entry as well as meaningful, sustained involvement in elementary language arts classrooms.


Animal-assisted literacy Humane education Mentorship Children Animals 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Elementary EducationUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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