Reading Buddies Always Enjoy a Good Book!
Assistance dogs are seen everywhere in grocery stores, retail outlets, hospitals, schools and libraries; yes, even in libraries. The use of trained therapy dogs in reading programs provide children who feel uncomfortable reading out loud in front of teachers, parents and peers into more confident readers. Furry reading buddies are gentle, do not judge, and are willing listeners, and the dog hugs and kisses are free.
The child sits on the floor cuddled up next to his listener dog on a special Dog Day Afternoons reading rug. With the owner/handler sitting nearby, assistance with sounding out or pronouncing a word if needed is offered with the same kindness provided by each of our dog teams. The child gets the empowering feeling of being the helper and teacher.
Children who have participated in similar programs love reading to a willing and gentle friend are noticeably reading more often, attempt more difficult books, and actually look forward to reading. As they improve their literacy skills, they’re not just learning how to read, they’re building self-confidence and learning to love to read!
The program is offered at the Woods Branch on Mondays and Central Library on Tuesdays from 5-7 p.m. Each session is 30 minutes. Children who participate in the 3-week series receive a Frequent Reader Card, stickers, a bookmark and a photo with their reading buddy. Children, who are unable to make a 3-week commitment may register to serve as a substitute or for the 1-time session offered during the year. On occasion, when a child is unable to come in or complete the series, library staff will use the Sub List (updated regularly) to fill the time slot.
The Dog Reader Program runs throughout the school year (September through April) and is available to students in 2nd through 5th grade. During the school year, students may register online, by phone, or at any library branch. Visit or call for more information!
For more information or to volunteer as a chaperone or Dog Team Contact Pat McClary ~ Dog Day Afternoons Program Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org ~ 313.343.2072, ext. 205