Program pairs young readers with canine audience at Libertyville school
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.