Saturday, September 8, 2012
Early Literacy is for Slobberdogs, Too
Early literacy is for slobberdogs, too. PAWS to Read is an early literacy program held at the Library every first Saturday of each month (10:30-11:30 a.m.; registration required), except for this month, when it's going on today as I paw these remarks. We've talked about this program before, but we have some new photos featuring Lilly, a patron who is MPL youth services & special projects staffer Biker Babe's granddaughter, and Bella, a Great Pyrenees slobberdog.
Bella turned ten (which is something like 70 in slobberdog years) this past May. Bella has been a PAWS to Read pooch for three years. Her caretaker, Tina Jenkins, told moi that Bella is especially patient and loves to read with children. The kids love it, too.
PAWS to Read critters must be officially certified to participate in the program. This involves training, which slobberdogs are pretty good at, especially when treats are included as rewards. (Two words: Operant Conditioning. Just saying.) Participating pooches must be re-certified every two years, and Bella just completed her re-cert last March. Good to go for another couple of years of fun reading adventures.
Although I call all canines "slobberdogs" (because they do, after all), make no mistake about their intelligence. They understand exactly what's going on when a story is read to them. They're smarter than they look. (Cats, of course, are as smart as they obviously look.)
This is a great program that gives early readers a chance to polish their read-aloud skills while having some great canine companion time. Everybody enjoys a good read-aloud.
I'd Like to Participate, But I'm Always Doing the Roving Reporter Thing,
Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Library Youth Programs News Beat
P.S. "Was Dog a Doughnut?" from the LP Izitso (1977) was Cat Stevens' foray into electronic instrumental music. Definitely metaphysical, it has some pretty cool musical qualities.