Kids, Therapy Dogs 'Paws' to Read at Mentor Public Library
Paws to Read program pairs reticent readers with therapy dogs
What do an Australian shepherd with heterochromia and a 6-year-old girl have in common?
Reading -- specifically reading at Mentor Public Library's Paws to Read program, which pairs trained therapy dogs with children who are sometimes hesitant to read.
Last week, Hansika Suru (the aforementioned girl) had the opportunity to read to her dog companion for the evening, Rukys.
Hansika was all smiles as she told stories to Rukys and thought he enjoyed them just as much as she did.
The Paws to Read program is very popular for children, ages six to 12 years old, who are able to read independently. Each child is paired with a gentle dog that is licensed and trained to be a good listener. There is often a waiting list for the program once registration begins.
"I decided to start learning how to read so I could come here and read to the dogs," Hansika said.
"I picked ‘The Little Flower Seed’ and ‘I Knew You Could’ because they are my favorite books," she added.
Many of the parents of children who partipated in the most recent Paws to Read session said their kids had been looking forward to this program from the moment they signed up.