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Why your child should read to a dog — and where to do it in Charlotte

The sight of a child reading to a dog may give us a warm, fuzzy feeling, but the benefits go much deeper. That’s why, increasingly, libraries and schools are inviting dogs — and cats– to be reading buddies for kids. You might have heard some of the program names. Paws to Read. K9 Reading Program. Library Dogs.

Read on to learn about some of the benefits of these programs and where to find a “Read to a Dog” program near you.

Reading for a non-judgmental listener can relax children and make them less anxious about making reading mistakes.

You might also be interested in taking a shelter dog on a staycation!

Young girl reading a book to a beagle
Photo: Depositphotos

Also, Tufts Institute for Human-Animal Interaction found that second graders who participated in an after-school program in which they read to dogs showed an improve attitude about reading, compared to children who only read to humans.

When animal shelters invite children in to read to the animals, the activity serves an additional purpose — it can lower the stress level of the animals to receive loving attention. It also gives them much-needed time with people, especially children, which will help prepare them for adoption.

If you have both a child and a dog, then you’re in luck! Just set them up in a cozy corner with a pile of good books. Cats can be good listeners too!

But if you don’t have a dog, read on for information about Read to Dogs programs near you.

Read to a Dog Programs in Charlotte

Paws to Read at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s program, Paws to Read, takes place frequently, at many branches of the library.

Registered (adorable) therapy dogs listen to children age 5-11 read, generally for about 15 minutes.

These programs are extremely popular. The programs at some of the branches require pre-registration, and some are walk-in.

Here’s the Paws to Read schedule with Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

Reading Buddies at Humane Society of Charlotte

Humane Society of Charlotte, at 1348 Parker Drive, Charlotte, NC, has changed how its Reading Buddies events work. Instead of holding monthly Reading Buddies events, it offers Reading Buddies 101, where an adult goes through a 90-minute training orientation. After completing that, the adult can bring in a child (or read to an animal themselves) whenever the Humane Society is open.

At the training orientation, you’ll learn about dog and cat body language, responsibilities, check-in and check-out procedures and more. There is a one-time cost of $20.

You need to sign up for Reading Buddies 101 in advance, and the sessions are getting filled up quickly. At the time of this post, these are the next sessions:

  • March 17th, 2023, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • April 13th, 2023, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Look for upcoming Reading Buddies 101 sessions on Humane Society of Charlotte’s calendar.

Books To Read To Dogs

Let’s face it, dogs will like any book you read to them. But why not go the extra step and read to dogs about dogs? Here’s a list of children’s books about dogs, starting with the book about the most epic party of all time.

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Go, Dog Go (I Can Read It All By Myself, Beginner Books)
  • 3 – 7 years
  • 72 pages
  • 6.5 x 0.4 x 9.4 inches
Noodle and the No Bones Day (Noodle and Jonathan)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Graziano, Jonathan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
Can I Be Your Dog?
  • Cummings, Troy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 40 Pages – 02/08/2022 (Publication Date) – Dragonfly Books (Publisher)
Just Me and My Puppy (A Little Critter Book)
  • Mayer, Mercer (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 24 Pages – 06/30/1998 (Publication Date) – Random House Books for Young Readers (Publisher)
Harry the Dirty Dog (Harry the Dog)
  • Zion, Gene (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 32 Pages – 01/24/2006 (Publication Date) – HarperCollins (Publisher)
Where’s Spot?
  • Hill, Eric (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 22 Pages – 06/30/2003 (Publication Date) – Warne (Publisher)
Clifford the Big Red Dog (Classic Storybook)
  • Author Norman Bridwell
  • 32 pages paperback
  • Language: English
The Dog Encyclopedia for Kids
  • Gagne, Tammy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 208 Pages – 02/01/2017 (Publication Date) – Capstone Young Readers (Publisher)
All Things Puppies & Dogs For Kids: Filled With Facts, Photos, and Fun to Learn all About Puppies & Dogs
  • Reads, Animal (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 88 Pages – 03/14/2022 (Publication Date) – Admore Publishing (Publisher)

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