Thursday, July 14, 2011

Therapy Dogs Help Children Improve their Reading Skills

The Ridgefield Library is not typically a place canines frequent, but in the summer we welcome a special group of pooches that help children practice reading.  For the past three summers Tyler, a gorgeous Shetland sheepdog, and his owner Paula Goldsmith came to the Library for special reading sessions that encouraged the development of good reading skills in a comfortable non- judgmental environment.

Tyler is a proud member of Therapy Dogs International (TDI), an organization that trains dogs who have outstanding temperaments and love to listen to children read.  Therapy dogs and their owners visit schools, hospitals, nursing homes and other public places.  Paula and Tyler offered their services to enhance our Summer Reading program and approx. 100 children were able to read to Tyler.  We salute and thank Paula and Tyler, who have “retired” from service at the Library.

This summer we welcome a new crew of trained therapy dogs from R.O.A.R (Ridgefield Operation for Animal Rescue). We are pleased that this new partnership will allow us to continue this valuable service to help children improve their reading.  Readers ages 5 and up must sign up in Children’s Services for an appointment with of our new four-legged friends during Summer Reading.

Contributed by Diane Antezzo, Children's Programmer

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