Taylor didn’t like reading in front of people. She could read the words as well as any kindergartener, but it made her nervous when someone listened, her mother Donna explained.
Then Donna found the least judgmental audience in the world —the therapy dogs at Mentor Library’s Paws to Read.
So Taylor started reading to the dogs, and they never corrected her pronunciation or narrowed their eyes if she didn’t know a word. They just rested their heads next to her and occasionally angled for a belly scratch.
Soon Taylor enjoyed reading so much that she didn’t care who listened.
Taylor’s in second grade now and reads at a 3.4 Level. She still goes to Paws to Read, but now it’s just for the fun of it.
Her mother Donna was so impressed that she got her dog, Jazzy, registered as a therapy dog; and now Jazzy helps young readers get over their worries, just like other canines did for Taylor.
If your child can read independently but doesn’t like to do it in front of other people, you might try signing them up for Paws to Read. The program works well for dog lovers, but it’s also helped some kids who are scared of dogs get over their phobia.
Registration fills up quickly, so contact the children’s department at Mentor Public Library soon if you think you child could benefit from Paws to Read. (There is often a waiting list for the program once registration begins.)
For more information on Paws to Read and other children’s programs at Mentor Public Library call (440) 255-8811 ext. 221.