My newest book, Scanner, was recently read by a little girl to a dog who frequently listens to children read.
Dogs who listen to children read are remarkable. I watched a group of children read to four different dogs. The dogs are therapy dogs who, not only listen to children read, but also visit nursing homes and hospitals.
Both the dogs and the children were amazing. The dogs are trained to sit and listen as children read to them. It doesn't matter whether the child is a good reader or not. The dogs don't judge the child's reading ability or the way they pronounce each word.
Children who might not want to read in a regular classroom, eagerly read to the dogs. Many will bring in their favorite books to share with them. If they read slowly, stutter, or mispronounce words, it doesn't matter to the dogs. I also noticed that many children petted or patted the dogs as they read. They seemed to really be bonding as the child read and the dog listened.
It's a great program. I've seen 4-H students working with dogs who listen to children read. Teachers have had dogs in their classrooms working with students. Many shy students will read to an animal when they won't read to anyone else.
I'm glad that Scanner has a purpose and a job at his school.
While at a career event in Dibble, OK, I met another dog who listens to children read in the school system.
This little dog really seems to be listening to the story.
Two dogs listening to two boys read.
Sometimes it's important to get to know the dog before reading to it.
This dog is checking out the Scanner book. Poor Scanner needs a home.
The librarian in the story is worried about Scanner.
Someone is enjoying the book as she reads.
This little dog likes the story he's hearing from a reader.
This dog is concentrating on the story.
Scanner's made a mess. He just might get in trouble.
A "paws" before reading some more.
Sometimes the best way to read is to get on your knees. The dog seems alert to the situation.
Ready, set, read!