Therapy Dogs Helping Young Readers Gain Confidence in their Skills

By the end of each story, the kids are better readers than when they walked in

WEST FARGO, N.D. — When you’re young, speaking in front of a crowd or reading in a classroom can be intimidating.

But KVRR’s Jessie Cohen tells us how one local dog is helping kids get over that fear and become better readers.

When reading a story, the tall tales are not always about the beginning, middle or end.

It’s about the journey getting from one word to another on each page.

“It’s pretty great to watch because both the kids and the dogs get excited about the opportunity to spec some time together,” said Lauren Nephew the Children Services Librarian at the West Fargo Public Library.

And at the West Fargo Public Library, Ringo is listening intently.

Being a good dog unlike Tom.

“He just feels that connection and he feels like the dog is listening where at home there are more distractions,” said Kayla Hauge, a West Fargo mother of a reader.

By the end of each story, the kids are better readers than when they walked in.

“Always a little kind of shy to start and sometimes a little quiet, takes a while to warm up but then by the end when they are reading they are reading loudly,” Lauren said.

They take those skills home with them.

“All of a sudden he’ll start reading words I had no idea that he knew and I think that growth is amazing,” Kayla said.

For Kayla’s family, she has seen her son’s growth after watching him read to their families’ dogs.

“Not everyone has a dog at home and is able to experience that,” Kayla said.

So the library has stepped in to help.

“Calm, friendly, kind of safe environment for them to practice. A lot of kids get self–conscience especially reading outloud,” Lauren said.

Whether it’s a monthly activity or your first time, every kid gets excited to see that furry, friendly smiling face.

“He’s been talking about this all day like ‘When do we get to go over to the dog? When do we get to read to the dog?'” Kayla said.

The West Fargo Public Library offers therapy reading with dogs on a regular basis.

Categories: Community, Entertainment, Local News, North Dakota News