Children in grades 1-8 who are able to read at any level may come into the shelter to read to the cats in our adoption room. Similar programs at other shelters across the country have seen the benefits the program has to offer. The program will help children improve their reading skills while also helping the shelter animals. Cats find the rhythmic sound of a voice very comforting and soothing.
The Book Buddies Program was implemented by ARL Program Coordinator, Kristi Rodriguez. Her son, Sean, who’s a 10 year old 5th grader, served as an inspiration for the program. He struggled with reading at school and so she brought him in to read to the cats and he loved it so much, he asked to come back. She knew if her son liked reading to the cats, then other children would as well. The program officially began in August 2013 and since then Sean has shown remarkable improvement in his reading and now often reads to their dogs at home.
Sean’s story is similar to those of many other children who have participated in Book Buddies. The program has grown within our community and is taken advantage of by home-schooled children, Brownie Troops, parents who want to expose their children to animals, parents of autistic children and many more.
According to studies performed by researchers at Tufts University…
Children can complete “book tickets” while participating in the program. Each ticket will require the child to complete 5 books (length does not matter). After each ticket is completed, they can begin a new one. The completed ticket can then be saved and turned in for a prize (there will be different prize levels) or enter a monthly drawing which will be displayed at the front desk. The choice is theirs.
*Program Update: 1/6/14 – participants should sign in at our front desk prior to going to the cat room .
For more information regarding the program, please contact program coordinator, Kristi Rodriguez at 610-373-8830 x 120 or via email.
“I want to thank you for giving my son the opportunity to participate in a program such as this one. I believe it truly helps him to not only read, but to help the animals who do not have warm loving homes, and that we must help speak up for the critters who do not have a voice.” – Katie Procyk
“Just a short thank you, Mattighan loved reading to the cats on 12/31/13 and has talked about it non-stop since then. She was thrilled to see her picture on your web site and has received many calls from people who also viewed it . This was a great experience for both of us and we are looking forward to coming back soon. Thanks for all you do for the animals.” – Heather Colon
Check out this incredible list of news outlets that published information on our program (and check back, because it’s growing!)