Promote Literacy By Having Your Children Read to Pets

    Pets are a very important part of a family and can also be a creative way to encourage your children to read.  Some children read to dolls or other inanimate objects as part of their play time.  What about having them read to their pets?  In fact, some organizations have programs where children come in and read to shelter pets.  These programs encourage children to practice reading out loud and provide much needed attention for pets who are in the shelter.  What a wonderful way to promote literacy!

    One example is the “Paws for Literacy” program that was launched in July, 2015 by the Humane Society in Tampa, Florida.  They paired children ages 8 to 12 with a pet in the shelter.  During a prearranged time, a child would come in to read out loud to a captive audience that is nonjudgmental and the pet gets much needed comfort, attention, and love.   Children receive prizes to complete the program.   

    Many other shelters throughout the US have similar types of programs.  Contact your Humane Society or other shelter program and find out if it has a similar reading program.  Your children will certainly benefit from it and have fun at the same time.

Author Soraya Diase Coffelt