Canine buddies help young readers |
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Canine buddies help young readers

Young readers can read to Rosie at the South Lake Tahoe Branch Library next Wednesday. Axie Navas / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Rosie's job is to listen.

The tawny golden retriever and lab mix sat below a stack of books Wednesday at the El Dorado County South Lake Tahoe Branch Library, ready to give silent support to young readers with her trusting brown eyes.

Rosie and her owner, Ann Jaffe, are volunteers with the library's My Reading Buddy program. Children are invited to read animal stories with a trained dog partner: Rosie went through a special evaluation conducted by an animal behaviorist before she could serve as a library listener.

"There's been a lot of studies done that show kids who are reluctant readers are more comfortable reading with dogs," Lake Tahoe Humane Society Outreach and Education Manager Liz Maul said.

The program started five years ago for young children looking for reading support. There are four or five different dogs participating, Maul said, all of whom were chosen for their mild manners and friendly natures.

"(Rosie) has a great temperament. I always knew she had something to give," Jaffe said.

The last day of the My Reading Buddy program will take place Wednesday from 4-5 p.m. in the South Lake Tahoe Library.