New Program Shows That Cats Help Students Read

New Program Shows That Cats Help Students Read

Can Cats Help Students Read?

A new way to encourage struggling students to improve theirย reading skills has suddenly cropped up, and it is cuddlier than you might think.



Animal Rescue League

of Berks County, PA, has recently set up The Book Buddy program, in which students having difficulty reading get to practice on one of the least judgmental audiences imaginable -- a room full of cats.

RELATED STORY: How to Adopt Shelter CatsIt all began when volunteer coordinator Kristi Rodriguezโ€™s son was having trouble reading. She told him to try reading to a few of the cats in the shelter, and it worked like gangbusters. Now her son is reading better than ever.And thus, The Book Buddies program

was founded.


One student, Colby Procyzk, had lots of trouble reading and his difficulty ended up impacting his sense of worth. Saysย Katie Procyzk, Colbys mother, to the

Huffington Post

:ย โ€œHeโ€™d get himself so frustrated and upset. Heโ€™d cry, โ€˜I canโ€™t do this, I donโ€™t want to, Iโ€™m dumb and Iโ€™m stupid,โ€™โ€Luckily, his grandmother has ties to the Berks County Animal Rescue League (ARL), and had heard about The Book Buddies program. It did not take long for Colby to fall in with the program, learning that reading doesnโ€™t need to be a chore. Since his involvement with the program, Colbyโ€™s reading in school has gone up two grades, and he even started reading for his own enjoyment.In a different case,The Book Buddies program helped Cheyenne Boyles overcome her fear of animals. Previously frightenedย by the mere presence of pets, Cheyenne was enrolled in the program by her father, a volunteer dog walker. After a few weeks of reading to the kitties, Cheyenne has learned that pets are nothing to be afraid of, and now even helps her dad take shelter

dogs on walks.


It doesnโ€™t stop there, either. Yes, the program is a great way to stimulate interest in reading, as well as provide struggling students a safe environment to practice, but it also helps the cats as well. The Book Buddies program is a great way to get these cats socialized. Many strays are wary of human contact at first. However, after being around children that are simply minding their own business and speaking to them in soothing tones, these cats start to come out of their shell.RELATED STORY: What Can Cause a Scared Cat to PanicThe program has also managed to stimulate adoptions, with parents wanting to take home the special cat that helped their child overcome their difficulties with reading. So, while The Book Buddies program was set up with the only goal of helpingย children become more comfortable reading, it has evolved into a multifaceted service that helps children, pets, and the shelter alike.PetPlus

ย is a new benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding and more. ย 

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