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Sandy

My Never Ending List

I read almost every genre & I enjoy venturing into unfamiliar territory. As a library volunteer, I'm constantly bringing home novels. Being a substitute teacher, I read lots of YA & children's books.  

Reading to Dogs

They started up this program again, this past summer.  We have a variety of dogs that come in each month (they are service dogs) and the kids really enjoy coming.  I was asked to be the volunteer that comes and helps set up and be there for the program and now, we also have a paid staff member as the program has taken off.  We usually have about 6-8 dogs come in every month and between 25-35 kids come in every month (for this 30 minute time period) to read to the dogs.

 

What I enjoy most is meeting the dogs (of course) and seeing the kids interacting with the dogs.   Their faces light up when the see the dogs and it's fun to see them inch closer the longer they read with them. 

 

Usually, a child will read a book with a dog and then switch to another dog and read the same book or switch books.  We have books pulled and on a table so they can grab one of those or they can grab a book off a shelf.  We have kids bringing their own books too.  I've gotten requests and I have gotten books off shelves for kids too.

 

At  7, the dogs each do a few tricks: roll over, dance, push-ups, balance, etc.  Most everyone stays for this.

 

When a child leaves: They can choose a new book off a table we have set up for them. They can also get a sticker and a bookmark.   If they can't find a book, we have coupons, so they can get a book from the Friends of the Library stacks out in the entryway.  I am going to try to make some bookmarks with the dogs pictures on them (try!).

 

My High: I've had parents come up to me and tell me that their kids do not read but wanted to come to this and read to the dogs (that warms my heart!).  I've had parents tell me that their child didn't like dogs or reading and wanted to come to this and we watched him interact with the dogs and it was amazing. When the child left, he told his mom, he wanted to come back next month (and they did!).  I had a parent tell me, her daughter hated (HATED) reading but wanted to come to this and she was in 3rd grade. She picked a board book to read to the dog.  When she left, she didn't want to take a free book as she was afraid she would have to read it but as I was talking to her, she said she was coming back and I told her to read it over and over again, so then when she came back she could bring it and then she could read that book to the dogs- she was excited then to take that Step 1 book home.   Amazing stories!

Here is the board of the activity and a few pictures I took.