Program pairs young readers with canine audience at Libertyville school

  • Butterfield School third grade student Kai Nicol reads to K-9 Reading Buddies of the North Shore therapy dog, Max, at the Libertyville elementary school Wednesday.

      Butterfield School third grade student Kai Nicol reads to K-9 Reading Buddies of the North Shore therapy dog, Max, at the Libertyville elementary school Wednesday. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • K-9 Reading Buddies of the North Shore volunteer Barbara Feldman works with Butterfield School first grade student Nicholas Godoy-Delgado as her therapy dog, Max, listens in Wednesday. Feldman and Max visit the Libertyville school once a week helping students become better readers.

      K-9 Reading Buddies of the North Shore volunteer Barbara Feldman works with Butterfield School first grade student Nicholas Godoy-Delgado as her therapy dog, Max, listens in Wednesday. Feldman and Max visit the Libertyville school once a week helping students become better readers. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • K-9 Reading Buddies of the North Shore therapy dog Max listens to Butterfield School first grade student Nicholas Godoy-Delgado read a story Wednesday at the Libertyville school.

      K-9 Reading Buddies of the North Shore therapy dog Max listens to Butterfield School first grade student Nicholas Godoy-Delgado read a story Wednesday at the Libertyville school. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 11/13/2019 3:53 PM

As part of a new reading program launched this fall, Libertyville School District 70 is teaming with K-9 Reading Buddies of the North Shore to pair a friendly dog and young readers at Butterfield School.

Through the program, students who need extra practice with reading and oral skills read books to Max, a 14-year-old Wheaton terrier therapy dog, owned by K-9 Reading Buddies' Barbara Feldman. Feldman, of Riverwoods, guides the readers during 20-minute sessions. She generally meets with three students on Wednesdays.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"Children enjoy the program and it's fun to read to a dog," Feldman said. "Petting the dog can help with motor skills and has a calming factor that reduces stress and anxiety."

It also helps children with patience and kindness, and boosts confidence in readers that struggle.

"And it gives children an increased sense of pride" Feldman said.

For more information on the K-9 Reading Buddies program, visit k9readingbuddies.org.

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