GBHS ‘Reading Buddies’ helps kids develop reading skills by reading to dogs

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The Irondale Public Library had some special visitors with four legs Tuesday afternoon.

And it’s all part of the ‘Reading Buddies’ initiative with the Greater Birmingham Humane Society.

Kids at the Irondale Public Library were able to practice reading out loud to dogs who love to listen. Staff and volunteers from the humane society brought friendly dogs to the library for an hour of reading.

There was an assortment of books to choose from featuring classics like Where the Wild Things Are and Dr. Seuss books. Some of the books were even about caring for pets and how to take care of dogs.

The volunteers with the humane society said when the children read aloud to the dogs it builds confidence in them while the dogs also get to socialize.

“We found out that reading to dogs, and it’s a study that science has done, helps the children develop their reading skills,” Mark Mathieu said. “They feel more comfortable reading to dogs because the dogs don’t judge them.”

Mathieu is one of the GBHS volunteers. He brought his dog, Ginger, who has been through many training courses to be a good dog to children. As part of the education team of volunteers, Mathieu said they are spreading education about how to treat pets in addition to building better readers.

Reading Buddies is absolutely free and also makes appearances at Homewood Public Library on Mondays. Check the library calendar for the next date.

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