The Southlake Library has launched an innovative program to encourage children to improve their reading skills. R.E.A.D. to a Dog is a volunteer program that brings together children and trained therapy animals to develop a positive and nurturing reading environment.
Available in select libraries both nationally and internationally, the R.E.A.D. to a Dog program is a recognized for helping children to develop a positive connection to reading. Reading to a therapy dog promotes a child’s love of books by providing an opportunity for them to practice their full range of communication skills. Research indicates that positive experiences like this will help lay the foundation for a lifetime of learning and a higher quality of life.
At the Southlake Library children are invited to spend one-on-one time reading to Malbec, a Portuguese Water Dog. Malbec is certified as a therapy dog with Pet Partners Therapy Animals and Reading Education Assistance Dog (R.E.A.D.) through Intermountain Therapy Animals.
This program is a result of Southlake’s strong partnership with Sabre Holdings, who has a municipal virtual library at its headquarters. “The Southlake Library was contacted by Malbec’s owner, Jill Ritzer—a Sabre Holdings Employee, to offer his services to the City,” said Public Services Manager Cynthia Pfledderer. “This is an excellent opportunity for Malbec to showcase his services as a therapy animal and for young readers to gain confidence in their reading ability.”
This program is offered on the 2nd Saturday of each month from 10 AM to 11:30 AM. Parents can register their child for a 15 minute private reading time with Malbec by visiting the Kids Page of the Library’s website or by calling 817-748-8243.
More information about Pet Partners Therapy Animals or the R.E.A.D. program can be found at: petpartners.org.