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UAE Initiative Reading Dogs Among Finalists of Nestlé’s Purina PetCare Global Competition

The initiative brings together kids and furry pups for a unique educational experience - the first of its kind in the UAE.

Staff Writer

Reading Dogs, a UAE educational initiative that offers children a chance to have one-on-one time with specially trained dogs by reading to them, is one of the eight finalists for the 2020 Purina BetterWithPets prize. The competition – held by Purina PetCare a subsidiary of Nestlé – awards social entrepreneurs from Europe, the Middle East and North Africa that are dedicated to the bonds between humans and their fuzzy friends, and are also positively impacting their societies through their efforts.

Reading Dogs has so far visited several schools across the UAE, and have reached 4,000 kids with their project, all in the effort to encourage children to engage with dogs while also enhancing their reading and comprehension skills.

“We’re beyond delighted to be one of the finalists,” said Karalynn Thomson, founder of Reading Dogs. “The prize and support provided would allow us to expand our services across the UAE, delivering more sessions in mainstream and special educational needs schools, building children’s confidence in their reading ability and allowing them to experience first-hand the special bond animals can bring.”

The competition’s 2020 edition saw over 150 applicants from across the region. Among the eight finalists of the competition are also Saudi Arabia, France, Spain, Russia and United Kingdom. The competition has monetary prizes totalling up to $123,000 that rewards based on innovative ideas that positively harness the pet-human connection.

The eight finalists will take part in an online pitch competition that’ll be broadcast live on June 3rd, 2020 at 3 PM (Dubai time).


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