Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Read to the Dogs TODAY -- 3 p.m.

On Tuesday, December 13, from 3-4 p.m., the YS Library presents its Read to the Dogs program. Children will gather in groups and take turns reading to a specially trained therapy dog.

Libraries and schools all around the country have been offering similar programs as the benefits to both dogs and children come to light. The benefits are numerous.

• Physical interaction between children and dogs has been proven to lower blood pressure and reduce the stress that some children feel when reading in front of their classmates.
• Dogs provide a patient, accepting, and non-judgmental environment which helps the child to gain confidence in their reading ability.
• Children with lower self-esteem are more comfortable interacting with a pet than with their peers. By reading to a therapy dog, children are able to overcome shyness and other hurdles that impede their enjoyment of reading and other social activities.
• In addition to the educational and social benefits of this program, children who participate also learn about interacting with an animal. For those who do not have pets at home, this program can teach children about responsible pet care.
• The dogs also benefit from the program. The dogs that are used are certified therapy dogs and must go through some degree of training. Often times, local animal shelters will sponsor the program which not only helps to raise awareness for the plight of adoptable animals but many times trains some of their own shelter dogs to be literary assistance dogs as well.

The dogs that participate in the YS Library Read to the Dogs program are part of the Miami Valley Pet Therapy Association. For more information, go to www.mvpta.com.

For full library schedule, visit:

photo by Susan Gartner