A Pennsylvania animal shelter has come up with a brilliant program that pairs kids and cats as reading buddies.
More than 20 children in grades 1 to 8 visit the Animal Rescue League in Berks County on a weekly basis, where they read to homeless cats.
The Book Buddies Program in Birdsboro is a win-win for the children, especially those struggling in school, because they get to practice reading aloud with a non-critical listener. They get “book tickets” that can be later traded in for small prizes.
Since the program began last August, the shelter’s cats are getting some much-needed company and socialization and they seem to enjoy the rhythmic sound of a child’s voice.
“One little boy has autism and his mom home schools him,” says Beth Ireland, the shelter’s marketing and communications director, on Facebook. “His mom knows that interaction with animals is helpful and it has been. He’s blossomed while he’s here. It’s so sweet to watch.”
(Read more from Berk’s Animal Rescue League)