Library hosts canine story time
By Fran Odyniec
“She’s non-judgemental,” said Jerri Dombrowski, “and she doesn’t look down at you.”
You might think that Jerri was talking about the ideal teacher, and in a way she was.
But this teacher has four legs and a tail with a propensity for affection and attention.
Honey is Dombrowski’s 6-year-old black Labrador Retriever, and is one of the seven certified therapy dogs from the Central Ohio Good Shepherds organization that participated in the latest session of the Plain City Public Library’s “Dog-Gone Good Reading Program.”
“We wanted to offer an environment that is non-threatening for kids to practice reading,” explained Amanda Warner, the library’s youth services librarian, alluding to the role that the dogs play in the program.
Warner said that some kids find it challenging to read aloud in school. Sometimes they become self-conscious if a word stumps them, which can make reading even more difficult.
“We want to foster and encourage reading in a way that is exciting and different,” she continued.
“We’re trying to reach out to allay any fears of reading. For those who have difficulty in enjoying reading, this is a way to find that love of reading by reading to dogs,” Warner said.
While there is only one session left in this school year for “Dog-Gone Good Reading” (7 p.m., Tuesday, May 29), there were more kids than dogs to go around at the April session.
However, Warner makes sure that every child gets time with a dog. She rotates the session so that the kids get around to more than one dog, although there are those who have their favorites.
The program is for children between the ages of five and 12. A session typically lasts one hour with the kids choosing a title from the library or bringing a book with them that they want to read to the dogs.
“This is a great way to learn to read,” Dombrowski said. “If you mess up on a word, Honey doesn’t judge that. She sits and listens.”
For information on the “Dog-Gone Good Reading Program,” contact Amanda Warner at the Plain City Public Library: (614) 873-4912, ext. 30.