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Paws for Reading therapy pets are great listeners


The only thing better than reading a book is reading a book with a dog. Paws for Reading at Cumberland County Public Library provides children the opportunity to read books aloud to dogs.

This fun reading experience is made possible by Love on a Leash, a nationwide organization with a local chapter in Fayetteville. Certified pet therapy dogs, and sometimes even a cat or a bunny, from the organization visit multiple organizations in the community, including our libraries.

Studies show that dogs and pet therapy are beneficial to humans. Paws for Reading is an amazing form of pet therapy with many positive powers. Reading to dogs is a fun experience that can give reluctant readers the encouragement they need to read aloud without the stressful environment of a classroom. It allows children to read at their own pace and be themselves without being judged.

Children often bond with animals and are not self-conscious about reading to them, and dogs often have a calming effect, making us all feel less anxious. Dogs can also provide emotional support and comfort, build confidence and decrease stress. 

This program isn’t just for reluctant readers but can be a fun and positive experience for all children. Librarians have even seen the program help young people overcome their fear of dogs. Children are welcome to come by and read to a dog or just listen. Participants may bring their own favorite books or choose one from the library’s extensive collection.

Our four-legged friends from Love on a Leash visit a different Cumberland County library branch each month for the Paws for Reading program. Programs are on the third Friday of the month at 4 p.m. Find a time and location convenient for you in the list below:

  • Headquarters Library, 300 Maiden Lane, 4 p.m. May 19.
  • Hope Mills Community Branch, 3411 Golfview Road, 4 p.m. June 16.
  • Spring Lake Community Branch, 101 Laketree Blvd., 4 p.m. July 21.
  • North Regional Library, 855 McArthur Road, 4 p.m. Aug.
  • East Regional Library, 4809 Clinton Road, 4 p.m. Sept. 15.
  • West Regional Library, 7469 Century Circle, 4 p.m. Oct. 20.

Register for these programs and view a complete list of library programs by visiting our calendar of events at https://cumberlandnc.evanced.info/signup/calendar. To learn more about the library, stop in at your local branch, call 910-483-7727 or visit our website at www.cumberlandcountync.gov/library.

Dawn Hall is youth services manager at the East Regional Library of the Cumberland County Public LIbrary System.

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