Here at Be Kind Living we absolutely love when programs find unique ways to combine causes for double the kindness!
The Book Buddies program does just that--helping kids become stronger readers and develop a love and compassion for animals through reading to shelter cats. The cats benefit from having extra socialization and affection. "Cats find the rhythmic sound of a voice very comforting and soothing," the shelter writes.
Children struggling with reading have a safe space to practice, free from potential embarrassment of making a mistake in front of their peers that so often leads to kids giving up. The cats provide companionship and comfort without judgement, a combination that helps children to thrive.
Book Buddies was started by the Program Coordinator, Kristi Rodriguez, at the Animal Rescue League of Berks County and was inspires by her own son who overcame his struggles with reading by spending time with her at the shelter reading to the cats.
The shelter's other incredible programs include Paws for Patriots, which helps pair veterans and soldiers with shelter dogs (not trained service dogs like AlphaK9, but as companion animals), The Grey Muzzle Foster Programs which places senior and special needs animals into foster homes and Kennel Companions, a group of volunteers who help long-time residents or dogs having trouble with shelter life through training and special attention to improve their quality of life and make them more adoptable.
Visit The Animal Rescue League of Berks County to learn more about Book Buddies and their other shelter programs.
Images from Berks ARL website.