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Watertown Library bringing back therapy dogs to improve children's literacy

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  August 30, 2013 02:48 PM

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Reading is about to get a lot cuter.

Back by popular demand, the Watertown Free Library will be reinstating the Dog B.O.N.E.S. reading program again this fall, where kids can read to certified therapy dogs to improve their literacy skills.

Dog B.O.N.E.S., which stands for Dogs Building Opportunities for Nurturing and Emotional Support, is a nonprofit network of Massachusetts dogs certified to provide therapeutic contact with affectionate and obedient canines at schools, hospitals, and other organizations.

In Watertown, early and struggling independent readers from kindergarten through fifth grade can read aloud for 15 minutes to the dogs, who help create a supportive environment for kids to practice their skills.

"They are excellent listeners and love hearing stories," Watertown library officials wrote in their September newsletter. "Reading to dogs provides wonderful benefits for kids, including reduced anxiety, increased reading fluency, and improved confidence in reading abilities."

Registration is required and begins two weeks prior to the program date. Visit the library's children's room or call 617-972-6435 to register.

To see when the program comes to Watertown, visit the library's event calendar.

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Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com

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