Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Reading to dogs at Oshkosh Public Library improves literacy skills

Oct. 20, 2010 – The Oshkosh Public Library can include more children in its Read to a Dog program because more dogs and trainers have stepped forward to participate in this popular literacy program.

Read to a Dog pairs children with trained reading/therapy dogs to improve literacy skills. Sessions are available by appointment at 236-5208. Registration is required. Dates are open through Nov. 29 and the program is open to children of all ages.

According to Sandy Joseph, Oshkosh Public Library children’s librarian, children who struggle with reading really open up and get excited about it when they sit down, one-on-one, with a dog. “Children who are nervous and self-conscious about reading aloud often feel very comfortable reading to a dog,” she explains. “The dog isn’t judgmental or intimidating, so it boosts the child’s confidence, they forget about their limitations, and their reading skills improve.”

The dogs in the program are trained through the Reading Education Assistance Dogs program, a division of Intermountain Therapy Animals. While in the past there were typically three dogs per session, now there are often five dogs available allowing more children to participate.

Read to a Dog is held in 20-minute blocks on Monday nights in the library’s lower level meeting room. For more information about library programs for children and families, visit


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