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Dog tutors to help kids read through Scituate Library's new program

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  July 31, 2012 04:38 PM

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Scituate Town Library will welcome two doggie tutors this Saturday, as part of a new program that allows kids to practice their reading to dogs.

Scituate resident and college student Coady Eagan and her mother will bring Eagan’s dogs -- Rocky, a 10-year-old Bichon Frise mix, and Sadie, a 5-year-old Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen -- to the library to help out with the program.

In 15-minute time slots, children come and read to the dogs, who provide a relaxed and friendly atmosphere for new and struggling readers.

According to children’s librarian Ann Lattinville, Scituate knew about the program, which has happened at other libraries in the state, but had never hosted the event themselves.
One librarian even started looking into bringing the program to Scituate, but retired before she could get the program on its feet.

So when Eagan came up to the library and asked if it would host a program, the answer was easy.

“[Eagan] had been certified along with her dogs and she was ready to do some of these programs. Her dogs had been in nursing homes already,” Lattinville said.

The dogs are both certified through Therapy Dogs International and Tail Waggin’ Tutors, which promotes programs like this throughout the country.

The program is a trial run, and the dogs will be available only for an hour, accommodating no more that eight children. Yet already, residents are excited to try it out.

“I put out a signup sheet … [and] within a few days it was all filled up with no publicity. Each parent and child that signed up were very excited to see something like this offered,” Lattinville said.

The hope is if the program goes well, the library will be able to offer more programs such as this, she said.

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