Wed. afternoons at 3:45,
Children of all ages are invited to come to the Library and read to "Maya", a trained therapy dog.
Man's best friend can do a lot more than fetch and roll over. Research now suggests that dogs can actually help children learn to read.
For young kids, one of the big challenges in learning to read is the embarrassment of making mistakes. Reading to dogs provides a simple solution -- a non-judgmental, comforting furry friend who "listens" and takes the pressure off a child as he stumbles.
Studies have begun to show conclusively that children who read to an audience perform much better when the audience is a dog as opposed to an adult human or a group of human peers. The theory is that because the dog (usually a trained therapy dog) is attentive and nonjudgmental, the child feels more comfortable working through any difficulties sounding out the words or assembling the sentences conceptually knowing the dog won’t mock or laugh, but only support.
For children who are beginning to read, or are a little behind developmentally, or suffer from dyslexia, autism, or learning disabilities, an environment with a friendly companion like a professional therapy dog (or even a well-trained family pet) can create a safe atmosphere where they can work out their difficulties but not feel trivialized by classroom peers or fear disapproval of adult authority figures.