Pet Therapy Helping Kids Learn to Read


Learning a new skill can be hard, especially in front of an audience.
At the Bismarck Public Library, a different kind of audience is lending a paw in helping kids learn how to read.

Learning to read and write.
Something every school kid must learn.  It can be intimidating,
“I think it’s scary a little bit…You don’t know what everyone’s going to think of what you wrote” Mason Reeves
Here the audience is much smaller.
“You don’t have 20 eyes looking at you,” says Mason
This time, two big brown eyes.  Nothing could be less threatening.
“The goal of a reading dog is to help the children enjoy reading.  The child who may be uncomfortable in the classroom speaking up.  They can just relax because the dog is a non-judgemental listener,” says Sheryl Reeves
The program is called Bismarck Animals Reading to Kids
Kids can sign up for a 20 minute reading session with a therapy dog, like Frankie.
Who just seems to help the words flow.
“Mason is not always willing to read to me, but he loves dogs and I asked him if he wanted to read to a dog, and he said absolutely!…It makes reading a little easier and more fun,” says Sheryl.
Now Mason has better confidence behind a book, and a good story to tell.
“I would say I came to the library and read to a dog, her name is Frankie and I just had a really good time,” says Mason

It’s the 5th year for the B.A.R.K program at Bismarck Public Library,.
The Morton-Mandan public library also has a reading with dogs program.

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