We’ve all seen or possibly been the child that wants a dog or a cat for companionship at some point in our lives. Some children were fortunate enough to have parents that would finally succumb to the persistent chiding of, ‘Can I have a puppy / kitten…pleeeease?’, though others were less fortunate.
We’ve all seen animals wandering around neglected, malnourished, and without companionship that in some cases end up in a shelter, though this is not always the case. The shelters provide the basic necessities, however, there is one important thing that may not be provided sufficiently, especially in overburdened shelters…companionship. Literacy for Companionship allows children to come and read to these animals providing the companionship that both desire.
There are several benefits from this program for the animals and the child:
• Potential increase in adoption rates for the organization/shelter that participates
• Improved social behavior for both the child and the animal
• Promoting the importance of reading as an essential life skill
• Children learn basic animal behavior/communication skills and safety around animals
• Provides an avenue for children to be active in the community
• Strengthens the human-animal bond
• Teaches children empathy and compassion toward animals
Studies have also shown:
• “Pets can be considered a source of support”
• “Human-animal interaction can make the learning process more comfortable and enjoyable for children”
• “Autistic children who were put in contact with an animal demonstrated increased use of language and had improved social interactions while with the animal”
• They showed “sustained focus and maintained a higher state of awareness, as well as improved attitudes toward school”
• Animals can be a “non-evaluative presence that can provide support and comfort to participants without judging them”
Programs we offer
LfC at the Shelter:
Join us at one of our partner shelters where children can read to the animals once a month for FREE. All new participants receive a goody bag, and all children receive punch cards. Once the card is filled up they can turn it in to pick a prize from our Dog bone treasure chest and start again. We also have a library of books the children can choose from to read to the animals.
LfC in the Classroom and Community:
Teaching empathy and compassion in the classroom, through specialized stories about animals, open-ended discussions, and animal-themed art projects. This program is geared toward elementary age students and is typically a 90-minute session. Each child also receives a goody bag.
LfC's Pawsitive Book Club:
Each child is provided with a brand-new book. We then enjoy reading, art projects, workbooks, and games all tailored around the book, helping the children get a better understanding of the book together while bringing the joy of reading to life. This program typically meets once a week for a month. This program can be tailored to the individual needs of the organization.