Rosie, an Australian Shepherd mix, and her handler Deborah Limoges of Dover, will be coming to the Berwick Public Library on May 27 at 10:30am to meet and greet families and introduce the Reader Dog Program to the community. Their visit will kick off Rosie’s twice-monthly visits to the Berwick Public Library. Rosie will be visiting the library on the second Saturday at 10:30 a.m. of each month and the third Tuesday at 3:30 p.m., beginning on June 10.
Many children are self-conscious and find it difficult to read aloud in front of other classmates or adults. The main objective of the Reader Dog program is to provide a relaxed and “dog-friendly” atmosphere for children to practice the skill of reading. Many children have difficulties reading and are easily distracted. The result of a child’s reluctance to read can have lifelong effects, including the development of self-esteem issues.
When a child sits down and reads to a dog, all judgement is put aside. The child relaxes, pats the attentive dog, and focuses on the reading. The child wants to get the words and pronunciations correct for their fury friend. The child’s reading improves because the child is practicing, and along with it, self-esteem improves.
The biggest benefit of this program is that children begin to associate reading with something pleasant and fun! Children look forward to their special reading time with the dog and the come to know the magic that books can bring to their lives. After just a few sessions with a reader dog, many children will begin to read to their own pets or stuffed animals at home and continue to improve their reading skills and comprehension.
Rosie the Reader Dog is fully-certified and trained as a therapy dog and is coming to lend a paw and help the children of the community to improve their reading skills and fight the “summer slide!” Stop by the Berwick Public Library and meet Rosie the Reader Dog - she is just waiting to be read to!