Some of our Bright Spot Reading Buddies joined us today for a planning session with Westhampton Elementary School librarian Karen Rousseau. Lily, Tucker and Lilo, lay at our feet as Ern Damon and I worked with Karen to map out the schedule for the Reading Buddies Program commencing soon after the start of the school year.
The purpose of the program is to foster a love of reading amongst children on all reading levels. The canine Reading Buddy provides a comforting, non-judgemental companion who sits or lies down next to the child and listens quietly to the story being read. Reading one-on-one to the dog builds confidence and fluency.
Bright Spot therapy dog Tucker has made front page news the past two weeks in the Daily Hampshire Gazette for his starring role in the Westhampton Public Library’s summer Reading-to-a-Dane program. Lilo, also certified through Bright Spot, will be trying out in this summer role, as well, in preparation for the program at the school. Lily is a therapy-dog-in-training and has been making regular visits to the library all summer, hanging out in the children’s area, and interacting with children as they come to select books. Lily is great with kids… she adores the attention she receives from them. As soon as she gets certified, she will be joining the other Reading Buddies in the program. James, who piloted the After School Reading Buddies program last spring will start things off with the Danes.
We’re all very excited about this program and the benefit it has for young readers.