Often humans turn to dogs for companionship and love, but lately cities throughout the nation have been turning to dogs to help children learn to read. A study released by the University of California suggested that students who read to dogs perform better.
The belief is that the dogs help take the pressure off of children learning to read. “The benefit of the dogs is they’re truly a nonjudgmental audience,” Julie Karell, librarian organizer of the Paws to Read bi-monthly program at Arlington Central Library, told the Washington Examiner, “They’re loving and accepting. If the kids mess up a word, the dogs don’t care.”
Reading to dogs has taken off all over the country and the dogs seem to love it. In Montgomery, Pa. the Upper Moreland Free Public Library joined forces with the Comfort Caring Canines to run their Read to Dogs program. 4 certified therapy dogs have joined the library, Abbey, Astro, Samantha and Myszka. Samantha’s owner told Montgomery News, “The dogs seem to enjoy it. This is a change of pace. Kids are more energetic.” Samantha often visits assisted living and retirement facilities.
But it is really the kids who are benefiting most from the Read to Dogs programs shaping up across the U.S. The children reading to dogs feel less inhibited, more relaxed, and less afraid to make mistakes. This leads to more confident readers who want to read more books to their four-legged friends.
“I have somebody that listens when I read. If I make a mistake, there’s no one around me to laugh,” said Linda, one of the students learning to read with her furry friends at the Arlington Central Library, of the program.
Check with your local library to see if they have any Read to Dog events planned.