Alachua Branch Library has gone to the dogs! Three amazing therapy dogs visit each week to for the Dog Gone Reading program. These dogs provide children with an opportunity to read aloud in a very non-judgmental atmosphere. Children enjoy reading, patting and just visiting with the dogs. Even non-readers will listen to others and tell their own stories to the dogs. In fact the dogs love all the stories they hear, including the books about cats.
One of the therapy dogs; Milo, was asked to attend the National Education Association Conference in Orlando this summer. He was invited, along with his owner Pat Bellis, to discuss the value of the Dog Gone Reading program at the library. Milo was even given his own badge and easily was one of the stars of the convention. Pat and Milo shared their experiences from the weekly program.
“The use of trained therapy dogs in reading programs can result in children who feel comfortable reading out loud, read more often, attempt more difficult books, and actually look forward to reading. As they improve their literacy skills, they’re not just learning how to read, they’re learning to love to read!” according to the website Library Dogs .
So plan to visit the library, even if its just to see the smiles on the children reading. Beanbag chairs, generously donated by the Alachua Lions Club, are arranged and books are set up to welcome the children. The dog visit during the following times:
Happy-Mondays from 3:00-4:00
Tyson-Wednesdays from 12:35-1:05
Milo-Wednesdays from 3:00-4:00.
Here is a list of some dog stories you may enjoy: