Libraries engage dogs to get children to practice reading

Maya, a golden retriever reading assistance dog, will be at the Bryson City Library at 1 p.m. this Saturday, August 6, for children who would like to read to her.

Maya and her handler, Bobbie Mosher, are part of a new program gaining popularity around the nation that helps children improve reading and communication skills by reading to animals. The interaction between a child and a dog is non-judgmental — no criticisms and no corrections.

Together, they will assist a child in 20 minutes of reading with Maya one-on-one. Children may bring their own book from home, or find one to read in the library.  The goal is to inspire a child to practice reading and demonstrate that reading is fun.

To make an appointment, call 828.488.6709. This service will be available at the library on the first and third Saturday at the library throughout the summer.  

Haywood County also has a reading dog program called “Puppy Tales,” aimed at children in grades 1-5. The dog makes visits to the Waynesville and Canton libraries. Appointments are available by contacting Donna Surles at 828.356.2519.

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