PAWS to Read
In 2011, with the cooperation of the Sandpoint Branch of the East Bonner County Library District, the Panhandle Animal Shelter launched the PAWS to Read program to assist young, struggling readers. Shelter dogs, with a volunteer handler, attend a scheduled reading session at the library to give young readers the opportunity to read to an attentive, unbiased and non-judgmental listener. The young reader picks his or her book and has a seat in a low chair on a blanket next to a dog. The dogs love being out of the shelter and having a “job” — and the kids love the idea of reading to a dog.
Participating children receive a half-hour time slot for the entire six-week session**. They have an opportunity to connect with the dog before settling in to read. Reading aloud has been proven to help kids gain confidence in their reading skills, and dogs won’t say anything if they make a mistake!
Call (208) 263-6930 ext. 0 or ext. 211 for more information.
IT WORKS! This reading to a dog concept was tested at UC Davis’s School of Veterinary Medicine with wonderful results. Reading fluency improved as much as 30%, and 75% of parents reported that their children read aloud more frequently and with greater confidence. We are thankful for the Sandpoint Library and our dedicated PAS volunteers for making this program happen.
**Children who read at least 6 sessions will receive a free book and a certificate of achievement.