For children learning to read, one of the biggest challenges is overcoming the fear of being judged for making a mistake. That's where Regina Humane Society's cats come in.
Many children learning to read avoid doing so out loud for fear of making a mistake. Lisa Koch, the executive director of the Regina Humane Society understands this and wanted to find a way to help children in her community become stronger readers. Her solution? Reading to homeless cats.
Children between ages of seven and twelve are invited to bring a book of their choice to the shelter and read to one of the cats. This is a win-win situation, as animals are the perfect non-judgmental listeners and spending time with the children helps with the cats' socialization.
During reading time, children take a beanbag chair into one of the cat adoption rooms and read aloud to the cats. However, if they feel more comfortable reading silently that is also fine. What Koch has noticed is that the soft, repetitive sound of the children's voice is very calming for the cats making them more comfortable around people and more willing to interact with them.
If you or your child is interested in joining the Regina Humane Society's reading program, give the shelter a call. If you live outside of Canada, contact your local shelter and see if they have a similar program or will be starting one in the future.
We can't wait to start reading with you, kitties!
All photos via Regina Leader Post