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New program at Boyd library lets kids read to dogs

Oct. 16, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

ASHLAND -- Children who are learning to read will be able to get a little help from man's best friend at the Boyd County Library.

The library system is starting a new program Tales to Tails, which lets children read to dogs. The program will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturdays, Oct. 20 and 27, at the Main Branch, 1740 Central Ave. Children 12 and under can read to a dog in 15-minute intervals. No registration is required.

The dogs are calm and have spent time with patients at Hospice, according to a release from the library. Children can bring their favorite book or borrow one from the library. Those who attend will receive a library dog leash. The program is geared toward those 12 and under, but older kids will not be turned away.

Cabell County Library has had success with a similar program, Reading Education Assistance Dogs, R.E.A.D.

Studies show that reading to dogs can help children improve their reading fluency, by as much as 30 percent, the release from the Boyd County Library said.

In 2010, the University of California released the results of a study that showed young students who read out loud to dogs improved their reading skills by 12 percent over a 10-week period, while children in the same study who did not read to dogs showed no improvement, the release said. Reading speeds also increased by up to 30 words per minute.

If the program proves popular in October, the library system will consider making it a monthly option.

Reasonable accommodation for people with special needs should be requested at least 48 hours prior to the program.

Call 606-329-0518, Ext. 1140, for more information.