Read to Paws

Image of a young boy reading to a dogGeisel will be at the Northern Resource Center in Belton every Monday and Eddie or Ikey every Tuesday afternoon from 4:30—5:30 and would love for your child to come in and read with them for a little while.

Geisel and his partner, Carol Pannell, are a certified animal assisted therapy team with Pets for Life. Eddie and Ikey are two rescue dogs who both are also certified with their partner, Hope Green, by Pets for Life as animal assisted therapy teams.

Named after Dr. Seuss, Geisel, a 4-year-old sheltie has received the AKC Good Citizenship Award. Eddie is a 4-year-old Jack Russell terrier and was named after the Leave It To Beaver character Eddie Haskell. Ikey is a 1 ½-year-old mix breed (dachshund/spaniel) who was named Issac by the KC Pet Project.

Carol Pannell is a Raymore resident and retired school teacher with 32 years of elementary teaching experience. Hope Green is a Belton resident and has been a volunteer tutor in reading over a span of 40 years with various organizations.

Image of a young girl reading to a dog

“Why read to a dog?” Sometimes, kids who are learning to read get stressed, not because they aren’t capable of reading but because they get nervous and self-conscious, they worry about making mistakes, they worry about looking dumb—and all those worries make it hard to focus. They dread reading in front of their friends, so they often “freeze up” and things just get worse.

When they read with a dog, right away they start to relax, and then they forget about feeling self conscious or nervous, and pretty soon things start to flow a little better. Before they know it, they are enjoying the experience of reading instead of dreading it. They’re even looking forward to the next time.

‘Paws to Read’ is open to children in grades K through 8 and is by appointment only. Your child will read to the dog of their choice once per month for 30 minutes. Our team will also be close by to provide gentle guidance and encouragement when needed. At the end of each session your child will receive a free book and a bookmark.

Your child is welcome to bring a book from home, or they can let the dog help them pick a library book to read.

Please call the library at 331-0049 and ask for Teri if you would like more information or to arrange for your child to enjoy this pawsitive reading experience.

– Rhonda Busse, NRC circulation specialist

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