May 21, 2009

Henry and I made an emergency run to the library, back in the middle of our visit with Grandma Mira and Kate Beloved. Since we had guests and also because my computer seems to be fritzing, I haven't been able to share what I found there. While Henry was checking out our books, I was checking out the kiosk full of local pamphlets. I found this one. It literally took my breath away. I had to fight to keep from bursting into tears. Why the emotional response? Maybe because I am a freak? Maybe because this gets to my worst failing as a parent? Maybe because the best parenting lessons come from animals? Maybe because this is innately dear and sweet and perfect? I don't know. But I tucked the pamphlet in my purse and forgot about it until coffee on the back porch with Joe this morning. I fetched it. It pierced him. Then I actually read it all the way through myself. Then I had to fight to keep from crying, again. And we both sat shaking our heads, laughing, and watching the steam curl off our coffee and away into the forest birdsong morning. The dogs were at our feet.

Paws For Reading

Beginning readers can practice their skills by reading aloud to a registered therapy dog.

Research has shown that reading aloud to a dog, who will not judge their reading skills, helps kids gain confidence reading aloud.

This special reading activity is fun for both the reader and the dog. Dogs are good listeners who will enjoy any story read at any pace.

Paws For Reading
is open to
kids ages 6-12.
Space is limited.
call to make an appointment.


MOM #1 said...

OMG! Are you serious? That's real?

That is sad. Poor kiddos who don't have a loving parent who is interested in listening to their children read.


What the heck is going on?

Amy said...

Our library has this program! I think it can make a huge difference for some children--the autistic teenager I used to care for daily went to this program and it was a huge deal for him. He was 15 and struggled with reading basic chapter books, he had severe ADHD and couldn't focus for more than a few minutes without totally losing his train of thought, but when he was with animals he would get this far away look in his eyes and just sit there and grin while he read and stroked their fur. He also enjoyed reading to my cats on a daily basis!

Anonymous said...

When my son reads he is more relaxed with his dog lying on his lap. This makes sense and offers non threatening, non judging support to the kids. Very cool.

Katherine said...

Cats! Of course! Why didn't I think of that? Thank you very much for that idea. : )

Anonymous said...

What gets to me most is that the kids don't feel judged when reading. Um. My daughter hates reading outloud. What did you say about worst fears as a parent?


Katherine said...

I know, right? Oh, I feel you. Oh how I feel you, dog.