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| 1 minute read

Pro Bono Spotlight: K-9 Reading Buddies Pivots to Hybrid Model, Secures Tax Exempt Status

During and since the pandemic, longtime pro bono client K-9 Reading Buddies of the North Shore has called on Katten to support its unique literacy program that uses reading teams with registered therapy dogs to motivate children to read. Since its founding in 2007, K-9 Reading Buddies’ therapy teams have worked with more than 2,500 at-risk readers in the Chicago area.

Attorneys from across the firm have worked with the Highland Park, Illinois, organization to secure tax-exempt status and create a suite of materials enabling it to continue operations during a remote and hybrid environment. Notably, New York-based partner and Co-Privacy Officer Trisha Sircar, Privacy, Data and Cybersecurity, led a team to draft relevant privacy policies, disclosures, releases and consent forms in order to assist with the organization’s transition to the hybrid teaching environment. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization adapted by allowing children to sign up for Zoom reading sessions with the therapy teams, which was a creative and successful way to keep kids reading.

And earlier in 2022, Chicago associate Rachel Kammerzell, Financial Markets and Funds, helped renew its sales tax exemption with the Illinois Department of Revenue.

Rachel is inspired by the way this organization has grown from one simple idea to be able to help so many children with what could otherwise be a very stressful learning process. Added Trisha, “The fact that I was able to work with children and dogs was the icing on the cake.”

The K-9 Reading Buddies is featured in Katten's 2022 Pro Bono Annual Review. Read the full issue


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