Children improve reading skills with trained dogs at Pierce County Library System
April 28, 2012 · 10:12 PM
Children will build important reading fundamentals with the help of a dog during free events at Pierce County Library System.
Read to a Dog events at the libraries help to improve children’s literacy skills through the assistance of registered therapy dogs. Children feel comfortable reading out loud, read more often, attempt more difficult books, and look forward to reading.
Graham Pierce County Library, 9202 224th St. E. Tuesdays, May 8 and 22, June 12 and 26, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Summit Pierce County Library, 5107 112th St. E. Wednesdays, May 2 – June 27, 4 – 5 p.m. Sumner Pierce County Library, 1116 Fryar Ave. Wednesdays, May 2, 16 and 30, June 13 and 27, 4 – 5 p.m. Fridays, May 4 and 18, June 1 and 15, 4 – 5 p.m.
Reading to dogs offers children who struggle with their skills the opportunity to read to a non-judgmental listener. Struggling readers are often embarrassed to read in front of their peers, and a dog will never criticize or laugh at them if they stumble or make a mistake. Research on animal-assisted therapy and activities shows that the presence of an animal encourages relaxation, lowering blood pressure and heart rate.
Children who formerly did not enjoy reading often begin to look forward to sessions with a furry friend. As they start making positive associations between time spent with the dog and reading, they begin to view reading in a positive light. In time, children’s reading ability and confidence can improve because they are practicing their skills in a comfortable environment, which will make them enjoy reading even more.
The libraries will use only those dogs that have passed the required obedience and temperament testing, and are registered by an accredited therapy dog organization. No registration required. The Friends of the Libraries sponsor these free events.