When Max first came into our lives in January 2014 I wanted to read all about dogs. While I didn't read this book aloud to him, I loved hearing that Waikato District Council has recently launched a 'Dogs in Libraries' programme.
Children can practise reading to a dog, who isn't going to be too critical about a few missed words! I'm sure the dogs will love this experience too. Whenever I'm talking on the phone Max turns up beside me - he seems to like listening in!
Even though it's funny, there is serious intent behind this programme.
"It’s been shown to increase a child’s relaxation while reading because it’s a lot less intimidating than reading to people and it allows children to proceed at their own pace,” says Animal Control Team Leader Megan May.
It is also likely to help children who are not familiar with dogs to be more relaxed when encountering them in public places.