Read to Rover at Greenbelt Library
On the third Saturday of each month, kids are invited to come to Greenbelt Library to participate in the Read to Rover program. “Children build their reading confidence by reading aloud to specially trained therapy dogs that are glad to listen.”
Sign for Read to Rover at Greenbelt Library
Dashle (right, age 6) reads to Kris White’s Irish lurcher Puddin as his sister and grandma look on. Puddin is almost 8 and White tells me that her name means sweetheart in Ireland. The dogs who participate in the Read to Rover program are therapy dogs from Pets on Wheels, “a not for profit volunteer 501c3 organization which provides friendly visits from volunteers and their pets to those requiring the support of an institutional setting.”
Naya, age 7, reads to Mary Lines’s standard poodle Savannah Belle IV, who is also 7. Her book is “Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum” by Meghan McCarthy.
Daja (10) reads to Dale Wilding’s sheltie mix Peanut (8). Her book is “Calvin Coconut Rocket Ride” by Graham Salisbury.
Daja selects a bookmark at the end of her session. Each child has 15 minutes.
Peanut is curious about my camera.
Allison (10) reads to Puddin. The book is “Wiggle” by Doreen Cronin.
Emma (5) and Maria (8) pat Puddin after reading to her.
Sam (9) reads a book about the Washington Redskins to Peanut.
As Sam reads, his sister Bianca (6) pats Peanut. Therapy dogs are selected by temperament and are friendly to unfamiliar people.
Sam receives a pencil after he finishes his book.
Peanut greets a library patron.
The program is from 2 to 4 p.m. and today 13 children have read. Here Dale Wilding and Kris White are on their way out.
Goodbye and see you next month.
Volunteers and therapy dogs from Pets on Wheels will be at the Greenbelt Library from 2 to 4 p.m. on the third Saturday of the month. The program is designed for children between 6 and 11 but White and Wilding tell me that English-as-a-second-language speakers have participated as well. Those who would like read to the dogs are asked to register at the front desk beforehand. The program is also held at three other libraries in Prince George’s County—Bowie, Laurel, and Surratts-Clinton, and this is its third year in Greenbelt.