Last summer, we began a very successful program after partnering with the Therapeutic Paws of Canada. The program is called Paws to Read and it is for reluctant readers who need a little encouragement. Our readers ranged from 6 years old to about 9 years of age, and they came each week while the library was closed to read to a wonderful dog named Stryder. The purpose of having children read to a dog is to promote relaxation and allow the child to become more confident while reading. Studies have shown that these programs work wonders as the kids learn to love reading out loud, especially when the one listening is a cute dog like this one:
The dogs are specially trained to sit and listen and they always come with their human (who also sits and listens). Each session is short, enough for one or two picture books or a nice chapter from a larger book, and afterward, the child and dog can spend a a little time getting to know each other. It is quite casual and friendly, and we’re looking forward to having lots of kids participate again this year.
Now, keep in mind….this program is only for RELUCTANT readers, not kids who just like dogs. If we see that a child isn’t really having difficulties, we’d have to ask them to give up their slot to another child who really needs it. Last year, we ended up with two of the kids really coming into their own….and they began to visit the library on a regular basis to check out books once the fall came around. It was a great success and we can’t wait to get started again.
So, if your child needs help reading out loud, or if they just need some encouragement and a little extra time spent on their reading skills, drop into the library and sign them up for the Paws to Read program. We’ll be starting in July, so sign up soon!