MaryEllen Schneider, co-founder and Executive Director of Sit Stay Read rescued Shandy more than 16 years ago. Together they and Sarah Murphy founded Sit Stay Read in 2003. Sit Stay Read is the leading literacy program in the United States that uses dogs as a tool to help improve reading skills and encourage a love of reading for at-risk children. I am proud to have worked with Sit Stay Read.
On Friday, July 9, Shandy passed away. She leaves behind thousands of children who love reading and dogs because of her. Shandy made the Sit Stay Read offices, Board meetings, events the place to be. Volunteers and their dogs looked to Shandy for advice and guidance – because she knew, instinctively, what the person or dog needed to be comfortable.
MaryEllen and Shandy will always be a legendary duo. Their obedience and therapy work touched so many – from comforting the ill to encouraging children to read. Shandy’s legacy is that our memory of her, the children she touched and organization she mascoted (sp?) lives on and will continue to help at-risk children in Chicago learn to read. Sit Stay Read will continue to impact the lives of many from canines to volunteers to children. And Shandy will be with us always reminding us of the fun and importance of reading to and with children. To read more about Shandy please read Mary Ellen’s blog and Johanna Humbert’s post on the pact we make with our dogs. Check out the Shandy video….
I cry as I a write this just thinking of the dogs I have rescued, who have passed, and FeeBee who is with me now. My life is enriched all the more for having been their human guardian. Your gift to Sit Stay Read would mean a great deal to me, Shandy’s memory and Sit Stay Reads ability to enrich the lives of children through reading. Please join me in making a gift to honor Shandy’s memory. Thank you.