The Forest Park Public Library held its first Read to a Dog program on Nov. 10. Reading to therapy dogs has proved to be confidence building for emerging readers, said Youth Service Director Susan Kunkle.
Four dogs from Rainbow Assisted Therapy listened to children ages 5 Ð 10 on Saturday in the Austin Room. Among them was Charlie, the Great Dane/pointer mix.
“Charlie’s heard Harry Potter, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the Boxcar Children and books about every animal imaginable,” said his owner Barb Balla. “He’s even been read to in Spanish.”
Dogs undergo extensive training with their instructor before they ever start any programs or observations, said Barb Balla. “They pass a canine “good citizens” test, plus testings that are unique to Rainbow,” she said.
The library will hold another Read to a Dog program in December.