Students in the Twin Cities are finding ways to enhance their reading skills.
Tales for Tails is a Bloomington Public Library Program where therapeutic dogs are being used to help kids feel comfortable when reading.
The program pairs kindergarten through 5th graders with certified therapy dogs for 10 minute reading sessions.
“It’s just hysterical that we have dogs in the library,” said Children’s Librarian and Program Coordinator Alex Bell. “It’s very unexpected and dogs are just, especially therapy dogs, very calming soothing. It’s a safe environment where they can show the dogs the books, tell them the titles, point out the pictures.
Bell says making the kids feel comfortable is the key.
“We’re just kind of being silly and encouraging the entire time,” she said. “So we are excited that they are here, the handlers and the dogs love meeitng them and all around we just want to let them know that they are welcome.”
The handlers say their favorite part is watching the kids come out of their shell.
“They (the kids) can be more expressive in their reading and not have to worry about people judging them or having to get everything right,” said Dog Handler Debbie Ripley. “Because the animals just love the kids, and the kids love reading to them.”
Tales for Tails happens every Wednesday from 6-7 at the Bloomington Public Library. If you would like to participate visit http://www.bloomingtonlibrary.org/bplkidsr/.