Man’s Best Friend Boosting Reading Confidence

Learning to read can be scary for kids.

Meet six-year-old Gavin Peterson.

He just started reading two weeks ago.

But for the first time today, he’s reading his favorite book to a special furry friend.

And when asked what he likes about reading to his new pal Remy, “that he’s by me,” says Gavin.

A silence that gives comfort.  A comfort that easily turns a reading session into a bonding session.

“They like it. They want to spend a few minutes for when they’re done reading,” says Remy’s owner Vicki Gronpack.
It’s called Paws for Reading, a program that the Fargo Library introduced almost 10 years ago.

Elementary kids read aloud to therapy dogs to gain reading confidence.
“Just to be able to practice their reading without having somebody standing over them, and correcting over every word, that sort of thing,” says Fargo librarian Cynthia Mason.
Rather you’re a strong reader or just starting, there’s no judgement here.

Dogs in the program like Remy are just here to be good listeners.
“It’s sometimes odd to read to a stranger but when you’re reading to a dog I don’t think he feels like its reading to a stranger,” says mom, Lindsay Peterson.
Two of Lindsay’s kids are now in the program.

It’s gives them not only confidence but happiness, something that Remy’s mom can appreciate.
Gronpack adds, “It’s very important to me to give back. This is something that I can do to give back.”
The next “paws for reading” is set for September.

Therapy Pets of the Red River is always looking for volunteers.

You can visit Therapy Pets of The Red River for more information.

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