Dogs Can’t Wait for Summer Reading Programs

Posted on: June 2nd, 2013 by Barbara Denzer No Comments

Every summer almost every school system or city recreational program has a summer reading program. They attempt to inspire kids to read books and usually motivate them by providing a sticker for each book read or ice cream cones when you finish a book, or a pizza party when you’ve read 5 books. You get the idea. For kids with reading disabilities Summer Reading Programs are something to avoid. That note may never come home from school! (Assuming they could read it before putting it in the back pack.)

Strong reading skills are critical for all kids and reading aloud is one of the best ways to develop them. Enter the dogs. Dogs love to listen to kids read. Amazingly, they never growl when words are mispronounced or bark when kids stutter over a word. They don’t care about mistakes, they’re cool, laid back and don’t give the kids a test when they’re done.

Reading to a dog calms kids down and relieves their reading stress. Kids are encouraged to bring their favorite book and the dogs don’t care if theyWhy Pets Can Read - Kids Teach Themve heard the story a hundred times, but they do like to see the pictures. Sessions are free and last 10-15 minutes. It can make a world of difference to a child who’s having trouble reading.  If you know a child who would benefit from reading to a dog, and doesn’t have one, check your local library for an Animal Assisted Therapy Reading Dog. If they don’t have one, they probably know how to find one. You can look up Animal Assisted Therapy and you’ll find all sorts of organizations near you that can help you find a reading dog. One organization in Chicago, Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy, has 22 “Rainbow Read To The Dog” programs in libraries or schools in their metro area.   Cats can listen too. [Maybe this is why pets can read so well. 🙂 ]

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