After a pandemic hiatus, therapy dogs return to provide encouragement for budding readers  

Jacksonville, Oregon (February 1, 2023) — The “Paws to Read” K9 reading buddies program returns to the Jacksonville Library after it was paused in 2020 due to the pandemic. Children in grades K-3 are invited to practice reading aloud with a trained and registered therapy dog on Wednesdays from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Jacksonville Library, 340 West “C” Street.  

“Paws to Read” aims to improve children’s literacy skills and lead them to enjoy reading. Registered therapy dogs and their handlers provide a welcoming environment for budding readers to practice reading aloud.  

“The program has been a fabulous success,” said Iris Hurwitz, a former Paws to Read volunteer. “Little miracles happen. The children are soothed by the dogs, and the dogs are so affectionate. It’s important to help children read without criticism, and this program helps them develop more confidence in their abilities.”  

JCLS Youth Services Coordinator Brystan Strong agrees.  

“A dog will listen to a child read aloud without judgment or comment,” said Strong. “Once a child starts building confidence in reading aloud, that confidence often spills over to confidence in social interaction and public speaking. All these things build on each other to create a pathway to academic achievement.”   

To learn more about Paws to Read, contact the Jacksonville Library at 541-899-1665.