As the Unit Director for two Chambersburg Boys & Girls Clubs. I have appreciated how Roxanne Davenport has organized and arranged behind the scenes to make visits between the therapy dogs and our members a reality. She was gracious about adding a second BGC site this year as well. Roxanne and I have collaborated to bring the therapy dogs into our summer camp program as well.
Our members sign up and prepare ahead of the dogs’ monthly visit. More than once, I have gotten the question- “Do the dogs understand what I am reading? Can dogs read? If they can’t read or understand what I am saying, then why do we kids read to them?” I reply, “Do you like reading to the therapy dogs? (“Yes!”)Do you like lovin’ on the dogs and petting them? (“Yes!”) Do you have a dog at home? Or a pet? (sometimes the answer is “No, I’m not allowed”). I further explain that reading to the dogs gives them a chance to read just for fun! I love that our kids, especially our non -readers and English language learners enjoy the experience of “practice” reading. Isn’t that what we want for children- to offer another opportunity to see that reading can be pleasurable?
I look forward to our ongoing relationship with Kindly Canines. I hope they can continue to bring on more handlers and add sites so others, young and old and everywhere in between, can enjoy the experience of reading to our furry friends.