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Book Buddies Comes to WAHS

Book Buddies Comes to WAHScats,child,cute,bench,books,cat-6e9f3b250db9daf08d38d121a9ddb44e_h

By Jenny Anderson

A new program, one modeled after a very successful one in Pennsylvania, is now available at our local human society.  The Animal Rescue League of Berks County has offered the Book Buddies program (with adoptive cats) since August of last year and received rave reviews from participants.

Tufts University has studied the effects reading programs involving animals and found positive results.  Although we do have reading programs using dogs in our local schools, this one is unique because cats serve as the catalyst (no pun intended)!

Researchers have long noted successful programs when animals are utilized with children.  The good feelings associated with animals help kids relax and enjoy the experience.  Some of the other findings included:

  • Pets often demonstrate a supportive atmosphere which encourages the reader.
  • Autistic children demonstrate an increased use of language and improved social interactions when paired with an animal.
  • Kids are more focused and tend to have a better attitude toward school when in this kind of program.
  • Animals don’t judge or make evaluations, therefore children can just enjoy the moment and not worry about mistakes.

Having a program at the shelter makes this is a win-win situation for kids and the animals, because the shelter animals are getting more attention, too.  Kids can bring a favorite book to the humane society and share it with one of the shelter cats. Now that school has ended for the summer, this is a perfect time to engage in a new activity pairing cats and kids.

The WAHS Book Buddies Program is available to children, grades 1-8, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays at 1100 Empire Drive in Lake Havasu City.  Appointments are set up for 30 minute sessions, and a parent must accompany the child.  The child can read his or her favorite book to one of the cats in the community cat room.  Call Stacey at 928-855-5083 for your appointment.

The Western Arizona Humane Society is open Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., with kennel hours 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Call 855-5083 for details. For found or lost pets, call 855-4111. View animals found at www.lhcpd.com.

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