|Icy is resting after one of the children's reading program sessions at a local library.|
> Reading aloud helps children improve their reading skills significantly.
> Reading to dogs can help a child build confidence without fear of judgment or embarrassment by parents, teachers or other kids.
> The Dogs help motivate reluctant readers who don’t like to read, or are afraid they won’t read well.
Reading programs can take place at libraries, schools, bookstores, hospitals, and homeless shelters.
Here are some compelling and disturbing facts about literacy in the U.S.:
> Over 40 million adults in the U.S. don't read well enough to read a simple story to a child. How shocking is that?!
> Nearly half of the nation's unemployed youth aged 16-21 are functional illiterate, and will have little to no job prospects.
> Children who haven't developed basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are 3 to 4 times more likely to drop out later.
> 60% of American prison inmates and 85% of juvenile offenders have reading problems. That is a pretty scary statistic!
Fact Sources: US Dept. of Education & US Dept. of Health & Human Services
Some of the kids have never owned a dog, so it's a real treat to spend time with a dog. The funniest thing is that sometimes the parents enjoy it even more than the kids, petting the dogs and asking questions about them while their kid is reading!
Afterwards, I take Icy home and give her a nice big Kong bone filled with peanut butter or a special chew stick! It's so much fun and so rewarding, we love the children reading to dogs program!
"To learn to read is to light a fire;
every syllable that is spelled out is a spark"
- Victor Hugo, Les Miserables
What do you think about a reading program where kids read out loud to dogs? Leave us a comment, we love hearing from you!