Kids Practice Reading to Shy Shelter Dogs at Missouri Humane Society

According to ABC News, the Shelter Buddies Reading Program, which started back in December, has been a beneficial way for children ages six through 15 to enhance their reading skills.

This mutually beneficial program at the Humane Society of Missouri has allowed for kids to practice their reading in a non-judgmental environment while helping introduce often timid or anxious shelter dogs to the presence of humans.

“Dogs in a shelter environment exhibit a lot of signs of anxiety and show stress signals, so we wanted to do something to comfort them, and we have a lot of children in our area who are really engaged and they ask, ‘How can I help? How can I make a difference?’,” JoEllyn Klepacki, the assistant director of education at the Missouri Humane Society, said.

Children are able to bring their own books or choose from the wide variety at the shelter’s library. “The goal is to get the dog to come to the front of the kennel by the time they finish their book, or a few books,” Klepacki said.

Efforts like this help increase overall school readiness in communities. Visit our page called “The Work” to learn about local efforts contributing to increasing school readiness.

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