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updated: 10/25/2011 8:09 AM

Naperville Library offers 'Bark for Books' reading program

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  • The "Bark for Books" reading program pairs students in first through third grades with dogs to read to. Sessions are scheduled Nov. 12 through the Naperville Public Library.

    The "Bark for Books" reading program pairs students in first through third grades with dogs to read to. Sessions are scheduled Nov. 12 through the Naperville Public Library.
    Courtesy of Naperville Public Library

 
By Susan Greenwood
Naperville Public Library submission

Students in grades one to three are invited to bark up a new tree this fall at Naperville Public Library's new reading program -- "Bark for Books."

The elementary school students will be paired with a certified therapy dog/handler team for some private reading time. Students shed their fears about reading out loud when a furry companion listens.

Two different groups are supplying dogs for the program, PAWSitive Therapy Troupe and the Naperville Area Humane Society. Karen Click, PAWSitive Therapy Troupe coordinator, believes the kids relax more when they read to a dog.

"They get into the book more -- after all, they're reading to someone," she explains. "For some kids, it's like reading a bedtime story. They don't want to frighten the dog."

A former teacher, Click especially recommends this program for reluctant readers.

"The kids don't worry about mispronouncing words," she says.

The setup for the program is simple. A quilt on the floor is for the student, dog and handler to sit on and there are choices of books to read. Tickets for a 15-minute reading time slot are issued at the Children's Reference Desk on a first-come, first-served basis 30 minutes before the program begins.

All the dogs used in the "Bark for Books" programs are specially trained, pass tests and have certification either as a Canine Good Citizen or Delta Society, or have been certified as a therapy dog.

"Bark for Books" programs begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, in the Naper Boulevard Library, 2035 S. Naper Blvd.

No registration is required. No siblings or pets are allowed. For details, visit naperville-lib.info or call (630) 961-4100. For accessibility information, call Lisa West at ext. 2231.