Read to a Dog at the Library
There’s a new way for kids to improve their reading skills at the library this fall! Young readers are invited to read aloud to a registered therapy dog. Zeke, a large-but-friendly Portuguese Water Dog, loves kids and loves being read to. He will be at the White Lake Community Library on Tuesday, October 20, and Tuesday, November 3, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. As students arrive, they will be assigned a time to read with Zeke out in the meeting room. They are welcome to bring a favorite story from home, or choose a library book to share with Zeke.
Research has shown that children, especially those who are not yet strong readers, make significant gains in confidence and fluency after reading with a dog for even a short time. The dogs do not correct them, or ask them to sound things out, or make them feel pressured in any way. In this relaxed situation kids make measurable gains in important reading skills, but there is often another benefit that is hard to measure. The students begin to enjoy reading, and even become eager readers.
The library is pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to local students, and is grateful to Eva Johnson, Zeke’s owner and handler, for volunteering her time for this program. It is hoped that after this trial run, reading with Zeke can become a regular part of the children’s program schedule.