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Amarillo Public Library hosts ‘Puppy Tales’ program where kids read to therapy dogs

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 6:14 AM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Kids have the chance to read to therapy dogs at the Amarillo Public Library during their summer event ‘Puppy Tales.’

The program started as a way to help shy or anxious children build their confidence and develop a love for reading.

“Research has shown that this is very beneficial for our patrons,” explained Melody Boren, youth services coordinator for the Amarillo Public Library. “It helps build confidence in reading because dogs do not care if you’re mispronouncing something, and all the practice reading helps you improve and grow as a reader.”

‘Puppy Tales’ uses therapy dogs who are specially trained to be patient and well behaved.

Kids feel less nervous reading to the dogs, allowing them to take their time and figure out words for themselves.

“If a child is anxious about reading, this is very helpful to them because the dogs love to be read to...they love the attention and they’re there for it. They’re also certified therapy dogs which is really important in terms of safety and training,” said Boren.

Library staff believes if kids feel confident about reading at a young age, they will enjoy reading for years to come.

“It’s a combination that’s really unique because kids get excited about coming to the library,” said Boren. “The level of excitement over meeting the dogs and petting them and talking to them and read to them is unbelievably exciting and heartwarming for parents and care givers as well.”

Boren explains the library uses the same dogs every year, but are always looking for additional pups.

“We have a golden doodle who is a pretty tall dog who comes and visits the library and we also have a chow who is a smaller chow than you normally see and she’s very fluffy,” she explained. “They’re both great dogs, I love their work, they are dedicated to helping people feel better and especially to helping the kids....I believe all therapy dogs are required to have a certain amount of hours in service, so if a dog would like to join our efforts, they can call the library.”

‘Puppy Tales’ is geared for kids ages three to about 10 years old.

The program is part of the Amarillo Public Library’s ‘Tails and Tales’ summer reading club.

‘Puppy Tales’ is offered monthly at the North Branch Library and each branch will have their own session once throughout the summer.

Sessions are limited and registration is required.

You can register here.

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