Edmond Animal Services Tests Kids Reading To Animals Program

Wednesday, July 21st 2021, 7:39 pm
By: Mike Glover

Edmond Animal Services has a unique program that is not only helping the animals, but also kids with their reading skills.

It’s called Rescue Readers and for one hour, readers between the ages of 6 and 12 come in and read to available dogs or cats of their choice.

“When kids read to animals, they feel a little more comfortable working on things they may have trouble with, like pronouncing certain word,” said Cara Drake with Edmond Animal Services. “They don’t feel as judged when they’re reading to an animal as opposed to a person.”

The interaction is beneficial for the animals as well because they need as much human socialization as possible.

It became tough for the kids to focus on reading with a furry friend in the room. 

“You can have up to two readers from the same household, so brother and sister can come together,” said Drake.

Children must be accompanied by a guardian while at the shelter.

Drake said the program has worked for other shelters around the country, but right now it is just a trial for them.

“We’re doing it today and we’re doing it next Wednesday, July 28th. We’ve already filled up all of our available timeslots. But if it goes well and it’s successful and we get good feedback from our participants we really do hope to open it up on a weekly basis,” said Drake.

All available timeslots were filled within two hours of announcing the program. Because of that response, workers are optimistic they will be able to keep the program going. 

For information on future dates for the rescue readers, click here.