September is library card sign-up month and Snoopy, the world-famous beagle, is the honorary chair. But what does a dog have to do with a library or even reading? More than you would expect!
Several libraries throughout the Fontana Region host a therapy dog in the children’s area on a regular basis. At these programs, children have the opportunity to read to the therapy dog. Recent research has shown that when a child reads to a therapy dog it has a positive effect on the child’s reading skills.
Frequently, children dread reading out loud and being corrected by an adult. Because therapy dogs are specially trained and tested to provide affection and comfort to people, children can practice reading and language skills in a fun, low-stress environment. Consequently, children learn to view reading as an enjoyable experience.
At the Macon County Public Library, children can practice reading to a therapy dog at Adventure Club on Tuesdays from 3:30-4:15 PM (grades K-2), at Bilingual Storytime on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month from 6:00-6:30 PM and at Paws 4 Reading on the 2nd Thursday of the month from 6:30-7:15 PM.
At the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library, Ms. P. the Tail-Wagging Tutor comes every Wednesday at 3:30 to have kids read to her.
Finally, at the Nantahala Community Library, Lexi the therapy dog visits on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at noon.