Friday, February 14, 2014

Book Buddies: A Good Thing to Celebrate

Reading is a gift we give our children.

 Berks County animal shelter’s ‘Book Buddies’ program is the cutest thing


This cat reminds me of an old cat adopted my family one year. She was promptly named "Tina" by my sweet daughter Rachel, who had a "Tina the Ballerina" doll at the time and was taking dance lessons. Cuter than cute as I recall, except Tina our new cat was hardly a pink-slippered ballerina!

Our orange tabby was a feisty old gal, as big as a small dog with a tough barnyard personality. She would sit on her haunches in the road in front of our home and challenge any car that tried to pass. She often won. The drivers would shake their heads and simply drive around her. She wasn't a lap-sitter either, but I remember the one time she made an exception to the rule. I was suffering from a root canal and in terrible pain. She slept next to me on the couch for most of the day, purring the way cats do. They know, they really do. Animals know when we need love the most.  

I have never heard of a "Book Buddies" program in an animal shelter before. Have you? What a terrific idea. It satisfies three of my loves - Reading, Children, and Animals. The program not only teaches kindness and epitomizes the love that people and animals sometimes share, it promotes reading and the joy of following the words out loud.

How I cherished sitting down and reading to my own children. For a time, we even had a 'Story Time' in our home after school. My husband and I sometimes read books to each other, or as a family. There is something to be said for 'hearing' the words of a good book read out loud. Soul nurturing, comforting, safely tucked in, cherished . . . words like that come to mind, and when I saw this article, my heart just warmed. Haven't done this kind of activity before? Do . . . DO. Before it's too late! Reading is a gift we give to our children . . . and to each other.

Animals love the sound of our voice, too, and I doubt if the little boy above will ever forget his experience. For all we know, no one reads to him at home and his reading level is poor, although he appears to be off to a good start. Thought this was a pretty good thing to celebrate this week. Such a simple idea, such a huge benefit!! 

Happy Valentine's Day!!

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  1. What a wonderful way to build a reading culture in your children. Do they all love to read because you instilled it in them as children. My parents did the same for us and I adore reading.

  2. My parents were not big readers. However, Mom subscribed to a classics collection when I was in 5th grade. Was hooked for life. Thanks for commenting!

  3. I remember being told that the way to get a nervous horse to trust you was to sit in its stall and read aloud or do homework. I never thought of translating that to shelter animals, but it makes perfect sense. What a charming idea! (And Tina sounds as though she was quite the character!)


  4. Really?! I never knew this about horses either. Thanks for sharing Diana. Nice to see you here!

  5. The library system where my daughter lives has a program where dog owners bring their dogs to the library so reluctant readers can read to them there. I always thought that was such a neat idea. And to think the same thing is being done at animal shelters, too. Wonderful. And you are so right--reading to our children is the best gift ever. I still have good memories of those days, and now see my kids doing the same with their kids. Pass it on!

  6. I am so impressed with the concept I have considered starting something in my community, or maybe it has been already. Anything to promote reading and kindness to animals. It just wins on so many levels! Thanks, Kenda.

  7. Sharon, this is so awesome! I also, read every night to my children. Happy Valentines Day.

  8. Good for you and the memories they will have!

  9. What a lovely project. Sounds like a winner all round.


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