GOLD COAST LIBRARY READING PROGRAM IS FOR THE DOGS
(IN A GOOD WAY)
February 16, 2014 -- This past Friday afternoon, the Gold Coast Library hosted "Read to a Dog," a program intended to promote child literacy that is administered by Bide-a-Wee, with support from volunteers certified by the organization Pet Partners.
The dozens of children who have participated in the program since it came to Gold Coast this past January, have had the opportunity to sit down for fifteen minutes with a trained therapy dog and read a book of their choosing to the cooperative canine. "Therapy dogs are proven to increase literacy, and it is just dog-gone fun," reads the Gold Coast announcment.
Local volunteers from Pet Partners, Janet Garraputo, along with her Havanese "Chiquita", and Katalina Moskovitz with "Coco" offered their support and assistance this past Friday. "It is a rigorous training program for the dogs who must be re-evaluated every two years," explained Ms. Garraputo, a retired teacher. The training was evident, as the two model students, Chiquita and Coco, listened attentively to the young teachers ranging in age from 5-11 read to them over the course of two hours.
Ms. Garraputo, Ms. Moskovitz, and other volunteers from Pet Partners donate their time and pets for use in a variety of environments and situations helping improve the lives of many - whether it is going to elementary schools to work with children with autism, to nursing homes to offer companionship to senior citizens, to hospitals to offer comfort to patients, or even to Hofstra and Farmingdale to relax students during exam time.
Keep a look out for the next "Read to a Dog" event at the Gold Coast Library which will be some time in March. Registering in advance is a must, as spots fill up quickly.
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