School is back in full-swing! While many parents are rejoicing, for children that are not confident readers, they are less enthusiastic (and oftentimes quite anxious).

The ability to read is crucial to becoming a lifelong learner. Many students find it embarrassing or even impossible to practice reading aloud in a classroom where other students might make fun of their struggle with reading.

That is why we have created not one, not two, but three literacy programs throughout our shelter and volunteer network. All of us here at the Humane Society of Broward County want to offer our support to these students in the best way we can: by offering compassionate, non-judgmental audiences to help kids practice reading aloud!

Wags and Tales WLRN

(1) Wags and Tales

The Wags & Tales Reading Program was developed by our Education Department, in an effort to provide a non-judgmental audience (Animal Assisted Therapy dog) for students experiencing difficulty with reading in a quiet and private location (library or school). Participants learn how to be safe around animals as well as what a loving friend, a dog, can be as they improve their reading skills.

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(2) Purrs and Tales

For our cat-loving kiddos, the Purrs & Tales participants will have a chance to come to the shelter and read to our adoptable cats. This program is designed to create a stress free and non-judgmental environment for children to practice their reading. Not only are the children able to develop their reading skills and boost self-esteem, but also provide valuable socialization and love to the shelter cats.

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(3) Book Pals

Due to the popularity of our Wags & Tales and Purrs & Tales Programs, we have created a new reading program called “Book Pals.”

Children ages 5-15 years are welcome to register for this 3-month reading program, hosted here at the Humane Society of Broward County. Students and their parents may stop by anytime during the allowed “Reading Hours” during their session. Just bring your favorite book and a blanket or pillow to sit on, and your child can practice his/her reading by giving our shelter dogs a little story time.

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