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Kids Can Read to Dog Buddies at Lewisboro Library

LEWISBORO, N.Y. – One of the Lewisboro Library’s children’s reading programs is going to the dogs. And that’s a good thing.

The R.O.A. R. - Ridgefield Operation for Animal Rescue - Reading Buddies program is returning to the library beginning next week. The program provides hesitant young readers the chance to practice their reading skills on doggie listeners. The dogs are provided by the Ridgefield Operation for Animal Rescue.

The library began the program last summer and it was so popular it is bringing it back for the winter and spring.

“It gives children who aren’t comfortable reading out loud more confidence in their reading habits,” said Liz Gabriele, library programmer. “The dogs don’t talk back.”

The program lasts only for an hour and 15 minutes because the dogs begin to get a little antsy after that, thus only five kids can be booked at a time.

“But the kids really love it,” Gabriele said. “We get a lot of repeat customers.”

The next Reading Buddies session is slated for Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Children can register for one 10-minute reading slot. Future Reading Buddies dates are Feb. 4, March 3 and April 14.

The dogs used in the program are considered therapy dogs and R.O.A.R. is looking for more canines to join its team. It is holding a screening and five-week class for potential therapy dogs. The dogs are assessed at the screening session before they’re allowed to continue to the training classes.

The free screening will be held Saturday, Jan. 28, from 9 a.m. to noon at Branchville Elementary School, 40 Florida Road, Ridgefield, Conn. To attend, e-mail Mary-Jo Duffy at MJSDuffy@aol.com to secure a slot.

Dogs that pass the screening will attend classes, also at Branchville Elementary, Feb. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 from 8 p.m. All five classes must be attended to receive certification.

To register for the R.O.A.R. Reading Buddies program at Lewisboro Library, call 914-763-3857.

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