What do you get when you bring children, dogs and books together? You get happy, confident children who love to read.
The West Bend Community Memorial Library partners with the Washington County Humane Society to create a program that provides a weekly opportunity for kids to read aloud to trained dogs who listen patiently and without judgment for 15 minutes.
For more information check out the West Bend Community Memorial Library website.
In a study published by the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, second graders maintained their reading skills over the summer if they read aloud to dogs. Kids LOVE reading to dogs! The study reports, “In the Dog Group, 0 of 9 children dropped out, while 3 of 9 dropped out of the Control group without dogs.” Although these numbers are small, they indicate exactly what we have observed at our “reads” for years.
This study suggests that having a child read aloud to a dog for 30 minutes a week could maintain that child’s reading ability over the summer vacation until he/she returned to school. We believe it is such a minor investment in that child’s literacy — to make it any easier would be difficult!
- Many other beneficial aspects of children reading to dogs which were noted in the study included:
- Increased motivation to read independently
- Increased sense of support
- Reduction of stress/anxiety