Dogs And Kids Unite At Local Libary To Learn To Read

Sometimes all it takes is a little nudge, and a paw. That's what a group of dogs were doing at the Sullivan County library in Blountville, Tennessee Saturday. They were helping kids learn to read.

"Jackson has helped me to read by encouraging me to read,? says 3rd grader Luke Johnson.

Jackson is one of several dogs in the ReadingPAWS program. The dogs are registered therapy dogs that visit local schools and libraries. The dogs visit with children while they read. Organizers say the program has big benefits.

"In our structured programs in the schools, the children's reading level will go up two to four grades in one year," says ReadingPAWS local coordinator Janice Pelletti.

And for kids, the ReadingPAWS program is an easy seller. Luke Johnson says since he began reading to Jackson, he's been reading three to four times a week.

"I?m thinking about starting to read to my dog at home to practice," says Johnson.

The dogs are not judgmental, the children will open up and read to them," says Pelletti.

Here are more facts News 5 found out: The ReadingPAWS program takes place in local schools and libraries, but organizers want to expand. They say their biggest struggle right now is finding volunteers with dogs.

Anyone wanting to find out more information about volunteering can visit

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