Do you have a struggling reader at home? Or one that is shy? Or one that is simply wanting more practice reading? Then the Library has a solution! Bring your student to our newest program, Barks & Books.
Barks & Books is an opportunity for a child to spend time reading aloud to a trained therapy dog.
The point of this program is to provide a relaxed atmosphere, which allows students to practice the skill of reading. Children who have difficulties reading often have developed self-esteem issues. They are often self-conscious when reading aloud in front of other classmates, their teachers or their parents.
By sitting down and reading to a dog, all threats of being judged are put aside. The child relaxes, pats the attentive dog, and focuses on the reading. Reading improves because the child is practicing the skill of reading, building self-esteem, and associating reading with something pleasant.
Our therapy dogs, Linus and Quimby, will be on hand with their trainers, Donna and Marsha, twice weekly for children to have an opportunity to come and read with them. The goal is for children who are reading on their own in kindergarten up through 6th grade to have time to practice their skills with the dogs.
When the child arrives for their fifteen minute session, he or she will enter our Story Time Room with a book of their choosing. The only ones in the room will be the child, the dog and the trainer. Then dog and child will have time to meet and greet and Linus or Quimby will settle in for a good reading to.
The dogs will be regulars here on Mondays and Saturdays. Upcoming dates are as follows:
- Monday, February 11th, 4:00pm to 5:00pm
- Saturday, February 16th, 11:00am to 12:00pm
- Tuesday, February 19th, 10:00am to 11:00am
- Saturday, February 23rd, 11:00am to 12:00pm
- Monday, February 25th, 4:00pm to 5:00pm
- Saturday, March 2nd, 11:00am to 12:00pm
Children may sign up for one 15 minute session per month, and we'll re-evaluate the popularity of the program as we go along to see if we can have more sessions per child.
Registration IS required and begins on January 30th. Please call us at the Children's desk at 978-640-4496 to book a day and time slot. Sorry, we do NOT have online registration for this program.
We are looking forward to our readers in Tewksbury meeting our wonderful therapy dogs!