Alex O'Brien


Thu, 26 Feb, 2015

Therapy dogs are motivating kids who struggle to read

Therapy dogs are motivating kids who struggle to read

A library in North Carolina, has a fantastic program which allows kids to read to therapy dogs. Every week at The Fletcher Library, a child can schedule an appointment at the library to read to one of the pups from Therapy Dogs International. The initiative provides a safe space where children who have difficulty reading or those with learning disabilities or anxiety disorders can exercise their reading skills.

“They bring this calmness and this peace to the children,” Michelle Sheppard, whose eight-year-old daughter, Adriana, participates in the program. “It’s just amazing. Just a short amount of time has such an impact in those moments that they share.”

The program began last October when Rachelle Sher offered her therapy dog’s services to the library. The library assistant, Elizabeth Klontz, implemented the program in hopes it would get children who struggle with reading to gain confidence in their abilities.

Since the initiative’s started, many of the young readers say they feel comfortable and driven with their reading pal. The Associated Press reported that Adriana missed so much last year due to chronic migraines, that her mom decided to start home-schooling her. The child said she enjoys reading to therapy pup Springer, who's a patient listener.

“Being with him, it’s like reading to a friend,” the eight-year-old told the Associated Press. 

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