Tails ‘n Tales is a club where elementary through middle school-age children are encouraged to practice their emerging and growing reading skills with the best listeners around — our local shelter animals.
Having a child calmly read to a shelter animal provides much-needed comfort and can make the pet more friendly and ultimately, more adoptable. Shy animals who have been abused can learn to trust again by having a small child read to them in a gentle demeanor and a cheerful tone.
When children read to shelter animals, it gives timid animals the courage to approach the kennel front. This courage can be observed by wagging tails and noses pressed to the kennel front “each time a visitor comes through the adoption center,” said Ellyn Klepacki, Director of Education, Humane Society Missouri. “This is important because animals who approach the kennel front to greet potential adopters get adopted much more quickly than those who don’t.”
As a teacher, I have watched young students flourish by having a purpose in their reading. I’ve also learned that many students appreciate having an audience that can’t criticize or critique them. Thus, cats and dogs are the perfect audience!
Shelter pets offer an open set of ears, always eager to listen to any silly mistakes our young readers make. Initiating this community-wide service effort has become a huge blessing and I’m excited to see where this opportunity takes us.
Disclaimer: This is a community based club that has arisen out of the sheer benefits this kind of student-pet relationship has to offer. While I am a teacher for a public school district, I want to make it clear for those who know me that this not affiliated with any school district or any animal shelter, per se.