Reading is going to the dogs.
If you were learning how to boil water, you wouldn’t want Emeril Lagasse looking over your shoulder. In the same way, beginning readers don’t always feel comfortable reading aloud to people who might criticize them. A dog, on the other hand, makes the perfect listener.
Reading to pets helps kids work on their reading skills without fear of being judged. The children feel relaxed and build self-confidence, while the pets get something they love—loads of attention.
If you don’t have a dog, perhaps a friend’s pet could lend an ear. The Utah-based R.E.A.D (Reading Education Assistance Dogs) program, launched by Intermountain Therapy Animals (ITA), sends pet therapy dogs to schools and libraries in Utah, Idaho, Montana and Nevada. Contact ITA to see if one of their 250 Pet Partner teams is in your area.