In 2002 Kent District Libraries along with West Michigan Therapy Dogs joined to form Ruff Readers, a summer reading program enlisting the aid of trained dogs to encourage reading.
I recently found an article online from the UK sharing the same idea. The Kennel Club formed the Bark and Read Foundation used to visit schools.
This week twelve-year-old Colton Engstrom from Sparta, Michigan had his appendix removed at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Engstrom said, “The day after my surgery a lady came in my room and asked if I wanted to read to a dog. I don’t even like to read, but that sounded fun.”
Colton’s mom, Lindsey, said the dog laid down and Colton read The assistant indicated that time was up, but Colt kept reading until told the second time.
Sarah Smith, Educational Liaison for the hospital, works with the Ruff Readers to bring the reading program to kids in the hospital every Monday morning.
Building interest in a book is another idea to spur reading. Before watching a movie or choosing a book, you read the blurb. Build interst by telling your listener about the book you intend to read to them and continue to engage by asking questions throughout.
Reading is an adventure. We learn new things, see new places and experience the feelings of the characters in our books. Share that by reading to others.
Digital Platform for Kids
Reading and writing go hand in hand, so why not build those skills by helping your student develop a blog. Not only will the blogger pay attention to the details of spelling and punctuation, but will have to focus on preparing an intelligent, thought-out message. He will be able to express his inner feelings and get feedback. Reading and writing skills are not all the blogger learns. He must interact with the public and think through responses.
Let me know what you think.