TAILS will be wagging with tales at Nowra Library on Saturday.
For the first time in Australia the American based Reading Education Assistance Dogs (READ) program, Paws ‘n’ Tales will be trialled to help children to find reading fun.
The program, designed for children between four and eight years of age, aims to improve participants’ reading and communication skills by having them read to an animal, in this case a very patient, kind, cuddly dog from the Paws Pet Therapy group.
The program launch will start with a “Pawty”.
Nowra Library’s children’s and youth services library technician Carla De Casti said the aim was to instil a love of reading while overcoming literacy barriers in a comfortable, fun environment.
“It will hopefully also be a way for the library to create a connection with the local kids so they know this is a safe place filled with joy and learning.”
Paws Pet Therapy president Sharon Stewart said the group had 35 volunteers who visited 32 facilities for disabled, aged and palliative care clients and looked forward to reaching local youths.
“We are always looking for more volunteers as well who are interested in putting a smile on faces,” she said.
“We saw a need for a literacy program in the area and there has been a lot of positive feedback from this program overseas.
“This is a way for children to read to someone who doesn’t judge, just sits there adoringly looking and listening.”
Ms Stewart said the program took the stress out of learning, boosted self-esteem and improved communication skills.
“After this weekend we will be regularly running sessions from April.”
The launch will feature a host of puppy themed books, food and craft.
Anyone interested in volunteering in the Paws ‘n’ Tales program should contact Sharon Stewart on 0418 869 181 or email Sharon.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bookings for the Paws ‘n’ Tales session at Nowra Library are essential. Call Nowra Library on 4429 3712 or email email@example.com to secure a spot.
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