Dogs join reading program

By Charlotte Wooldridge | posted on March 5, 2020

ALBANY kids will now have the opportunity to cuddle up with a dog and a book as the Albany Public Library commences their Paws for Reading program again.

The uniquely furry initiative was introduced last year at the library to encourage children improve their reading skills.

The program runs in partnership with Mt Barker Dogs Boarding Kennels, with patient pooches Spottie and Faith making their way to the library on the second Tuesday of every month.

Youth Services Librarian Dora Adeline said the community has gladly accepted the program, with 30 children coming to read to Spottie and Faith last year.

“Studies showed that children who read and are read to have a much higher vocabulary and a greater understanding and empathy of different topics in their lives and the world around them,” she said.

“Unfortunately learning to read can be very difficult for some children and the Paws for Reading program can provide an opportunity for them to engage in a great experience and develop a love of reading rather than feeling worried or judged.”

Paws for Reading also has additional support for children with dyslexia and other reading difficulties.

“Knowing that even a small increase to daily reading can make a huge difference to children as adults is what inspired Naomi from Mt Barker Dogs Boarding Kennels and myself to introduce a reading with dogs program to Albany,” Ms Adeline said.

“The program demonstrates that reading can still be a good experience for struggling readers as well as a great opportunity for all children to spend time reading with our dogs, or their own at home.”

Due to popular demand, 15-minute sessions with Spottie and Faith must be booked in advance, and can be found on the Albany Public Library website or organised by calling 6820 3600.