CHARLES TOWN – Wags for Hope is coming to the Charles Town Library with its R.E.A.D program. R.E.A.D. stands for Reading Education Assistance Dogs program. When a child reads to a dog or a cat, it improves his reading and communication skills. R.E.A.D. dogs are registered therapy animals that volunteer with their handler as a team, going to schools, libraries and many other settings as reading companions for children.
Wags for Hope’s R.E.A.D. program utilizes registered therapy animals that have been trained and tested for health, safety, appropriate skills and temperament.
Learning to read is often less about intellectual limitation than about overcoming fears. Animals are ideal reading companions because they allow children to relax. The animals are attentive listeners. Animals do not laugh, judge or criticize and they allow children to read at their own pace.
Participating kids make enormous strides in reading and communication skills while, along the way, building self-esteem, confidence and social skills. And there are bonus benefits – performance in other school subjects tends to improve, as does attendance.
The R.E.A.D. dogs will be at the Charles Town Library for an hour starting at 5:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month, beginning next week. If you have a reader in your house in first through fifth grade this program is a wonderful opportunity to bring excitement to reading.