Serving since 1998, Paws For Learning provides canine assisted academic & behavioral health support for children & adults.

Paws For Learning continues to find innovative ways of reaching students who have a variety of learning profiles and styles. Our volunteers and their dogs are the key and donors like you make it all possible.

Paws For Learning teams partner in schools with students who have some of the greatest needs in Twin Cities. Almost all of our students come from our poorest neighborhoods in St. Paul and North Minneapolis. Many of our students have been impacted by significant trauma, substance use or abuse, teen pregnancy, criminal records, behavioral health challenges, or academic histories that make connecting to a learning day a deep challenge.

Paws For Learning dogs bridge the challenges that students walk through school doors with. Paws For Learning teams provide students grades K-Post Secondary with opportunities to settle into learning and make positive connections with peers and adults. Paws For Learning teams have interrupted the impact of many troubled moments. Student social, academic,and physical challenges are met with canine partnered opportunities. Paws For Learning dogs and handlers help connect students to supports so that academic improvement, self regulation, and simple successes are realized during and beyond the academic school day.

Paws For Learning: Partnering With Schools For Student Behavioral Success which leads to academic success.
Paws For Learning therapy dog teams enhance the work that schools and community professionals are doing to help students read, improve school attendance, manage their emotions, complete their school work, or recover after a school or community crisis or disaster.

Reading and Work Completion Assistance
In 2009, testing showed that almost half the students in St. Paul were not proficient in reading or math. This continues to represent a crisis not only for our cities, but for our state and our nation.

“It is a moral and social imperative to eliminate the achievement gap ...and help all students reach their full potential.”
--St. Paul Public Schools Foundation website

Paws For Learning meets the achievement gap head on by relationally spending time every week with students who may be struggling with their reading skills. It works! The dogs and handlers make all the difference in the learning day of a struggling or emerging reader.

"I think that this is definitely some evidence based, on the job research that we’re doing here, that shows me that this is one of the most effective interventions that I’ve seen happen professionally with kids around reading.”

-Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker - St. Paul Public Schools

In 2011, a Minneapolis high school surveyed students and found that according to students, anxiety and anger management were their top health need.

Paws For Learning assists staff and students in addressing such needs through small group experiences and one to one time with our canine teams.

Through collaboration with Paws For Learning, educators report that students experience a broad range of academic improvement, including increased success in reading, work completion, school attendance and mental health/self regulation challenges.

"The children are working to learn to manage their emotions and impulses, develop healthy relationships with adults and peers, and develop coping strategies and self control in order to be successful in their academic development.”

-School Social Worker - St. Paul Public Schools

Disaster Response and Recovery - Paws For Learning canine teams can make all the difference...

Following a school crisis, a veteran high school principal reported, "It was the best thing I ever provided for my students."

Paws For Learning canine partner care-assistance teams have responded with & supported educators, behavioral health workers and first responders following:

  • The 35W bridge collapse
  • The Cottonwood/Marshall, MN school bus crash
  • Tornadoes
  • Hate Crimes
  • Student deaths
  • Missing persons
  • Floods and fires
  • Shootings
  • The recovery needs of relief workers responding to these disasters and critical incidents.

Thank you for your financial support. Paws For Learning is a small nonprofit that makes a BIG difference! We can't do this great work without your kind support. Thank YOU!

Join the Conversation


Organization Information

93 Fans

Also fundraising for this cause