I love to read. I always have multiple books lying around and in the process of reading them. I was always reading as a kid. I kept up with the Berenstain Bears and Little Critter. As I got older, I was amazed at the adventures of Ralph S. Mouse. When I buy presents for children, it is usually a book because I want to share the gift of reading.
In Otara, New Zealand, there is a greyhound and a library that are helping kids love to read. It is a pilot program at the library there. Reading dogs have been used for some time to help encourage hesitant readers to become more comfortable with reading in a non-judgmental way.
The blog, Reading with Roo, shares how Roo, an adopted racing greyhound, helps children become more literate. The blog has great information about the pilot program, as well as showing evidence of the program at work: children reading to Roo from Roo’s reading sessions.
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 17% of adults in the world are not literate. The same reports show that 122 million youth are illiterate globally. Reading with Roo is just one, small way in which change is occurring.
Let’s face it, the more we read, the better we get at it. Reading has a lot of other benefits though. It’s a great way to exercise our brains. Reading is a much more complex activity than some other things we might choose to do. It also helps improve concentration.
Reading is a great way to teach about the world. The first traveling I ever did was through books. And I think it made me a better one. I learned about others through books, creating empathy for people who are different from me. Reading can also improve one’s vocabulary (I’m still working on this one.)
Reading can also foster imagination, which leads us to getting creative when seeking solutions to big problems. Like bringing a greyhound named Roo to a library to encourage kids to be readers.
Read. It can change the world.