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New Program Is Using Therapy Dogs To Combat Illiteracy

It can be hard to learn to read when you're a kid. Not everybody takes to it the same way that others do, and if it's not something you get to do a lot of at home, chances are it's going to be more difficult when you hit school.  

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Not only that, but reading in school is pretty daunting for a bunch of reasons. You usually get asked to do it in front of the other students, and as soon as you read too slow or struggle to pronounce a word, other kids will start getting annoyed or laughing at you.

The New Yorker

Thankfully, plenty of organizations exist to help kids improve their reading, from learning centers, to afterschool programs. In particular the Centre County Library in Bellefonte, PA has a pretty novel idea: get kids to relax by letting them read to therapy dogs!

The full details on this are pretty adorable...

Tail Waggin’ Tutors is an official Therapy Dogs International program set up by the Centre County Library that lets kids sit down with a therapy dog for 20 minutes, and calmly read to the adorable little pooches without any distractions.

Centre Daily Times

“Sometimes struggling readers have negative associations with books and reading,” said Laura Sarge, a children’s librarian at CCL. The hope of the library and the program is that kids can change this association by having a furry companion listen to them patiently, without any pressure placed on them.

Centre Daily Times

The program is already super popular, thanks to adorable therapy dogs like Faolin, a Scottish terrier who's been trained to ignore dropped food and not get excited when people come in the door.

“That’s why he’s so special. He actually listens” says his owner.

Centre Daily Times

Would you get your kids to read to a therapy dog?