AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — They say reading is fundamental but what happens when you throw Fido into the mix? Well, Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare is doing just that with its new Paws to Pages program.
“We bring in three dogs from the shelter and they’re getting a chance to sit with kids and interact,” explained Volunteer Coordinator Leigh Ann Briones.
Will Rogers Elementary’s Principal, Terri Huseman, said the program is helping kids become better readers.
“This is our third time to do it and after the first time [students] said we want to involve other students,” said Huseman.
Houseman said the program creates a judge-free and more positive experience for her students.
“It’s a great opportunity for our kids to be able to practice their fluency and there’s no judgment with the animals,” added Huseman. “The kids are very excited when they go home, the teachers of these students say they’re a changed student when they go back into the classroom, they’re happy they’re excited to share what they’ve just learned with the dogs.”
The puppy-love goes both ways. The shelter said interacting with the kids increases a dog’s chance of getting adopted.
“Most of the time we don’t know their history or background so bringing them out in the public and bringing them around kids most definitely helps their chances with adoption,” Briones explained.
“Our kids don’t have jobs, so they can’t give back financially but they can give back with their time,” Huseman said.
The shelter is looking for more schools to partner with.
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