What an amazing program this is. Its called The Shelter Buddies Reading Program at the Humane Society of Missouri and its something where both humans and animals are greatly benefiting from.
Heres what this is all about: The kids read to shelter dogs. This not only helps the children practice their own reading to a non-judging audience, but it also prepares the dogs to be better accustomed to their eternally homes. The infants become more empathetic as well “re going through” this experience.
The infants will sit in front of a dogs kennel, usually one who is shy, and proceed to read to the dog from a book.
Heres what program director Jo Klepacki had to say about the program 😛 TAGEND
“We wanted to help our shy and fearful puppy without forcing physical interaction with them to watch the positive impact that could have on them. Ideally that shy and fearful puppy will approach and show interest. If so, the kids reinforce that behavior by flinging them a treat. What this is also doing is to bringing the animals to the front in case potential adopters come through. They are more likely to get adopted if they are approaching and interacting, rather than hiding in the back or cowering.”
This isnt just for the shy dogs though. The high-energy dogs also benefit from this unique program, as it instills in them a notion that calmer behavior is more desirable.
A 10 -hour training program is required for a child to participate. The infants are supervised and taught how to work with the animals. Once they complete that, they can then come to the shelter with both parents and read to the dogs anytime they want.
Director Jo Klepacki talks about the empathy facet of the program 😛 TAGEND
“It’s encouraging infants to develop empathy with animals. It’s a peaceful, quiet exercise. They’re ensure fearfulness in these animals, and ensure the positive affect they can have. It encourages them to look at things from an animals perspective. That helps them better connect with animals and people in their lives.”
Check out this wonderful video 😛 TAGEND
The director also adds that the goal is to greatly expand this program throughout Missouri, and also begin to include cats as well!