WINNIPEG -- A program is pairing kids with canines to sharpen their reading skills in a low stress environment.

The St. John Ambulance's Therapy Animals Involved in Literacy Skills (TAILS) is a reading program that provides an opportunity for children to read aloud to dogs. The goal is to give children who have a hard time reading, a safe and low stress environment to hone their skills.

St. John Ambulance said in a news release that the therapy dog program will also include a variety of video links available featuring therapy dog teams reading stories to children.

The launch of the program will be online and presented to schools who participate in the St. John Ambulance Special Paws for Special Kids Program. The long-standing initiative was developed in Winnipeg. The therapy dog teams help high need children in schools.