August 22, 2012
Paws for Reading Builds Confidence
It's time to head back to school... which will soon mean reading aloud in front of classmates for some kids. I remember this practice use to be distressing to me when I was in school. I was embarrassed and would stumble over the words because I felt like everyone was watching me!
We just discovered a program at our local library in San Diego called Paws for Reading, in which children can read a book of their choosing aloud to a trained support dog.
The dogs at our library were trained by Love on a Leash, and they were the sweetest. When Miss O started reading, she noticed I was paying attention and she clammed up and got bashful... but the moment it was just her and the dog alone, she read her an entire book.
We all know how amazing and unconditionally supportive dogs are, and Paws for Reading is meant to help children build their confidence reading aloud while practicing their comprehension skills. Miss O and Mr. A. also love petting dogs any chance they get, so it was an all around thrill. (Yes, a family dog is in our future!) Shhh.
There are Paws for Reading programs all over the US. And perhaps your own family dog would make the perfect audience for your budding bibliophile to sit and read a great book to as well!