Children in the US are improving their literacy skills – by reading to cats!
The folks who run an animal rescue centre in Pennsylvania have been encouraging local primary-school children to read to the abandoned cats they’re looking after.
Kids who volunteer to join the Book Buddies programme, run by The Animal Rescue League of Berks County, Pennsylvania, get a prize for every 5 books they read to the sheltered cats.
And, since the project was launched in last year, Book Buddies volunteers have shown significant improvements in their reading ability. Parents have also successfully used the scheme to encourage children with autism, and related literacy difficulties, to read more.
“Children in grades 1-8 [roughly equivalent to UK primary-school years] who are able to read at any level may come into the shelter to read to the cats in our adoption room,” says a spokesperson for the shelter. “The programme will help children improve their reading skills while also helping the shelter animals.
“The cats find the rhythmic sound of a voice very comforting and soothing.”
We think these pictures speak volumes about the power of the cat-child reading relationship. Just look at the cats cuddling up to the children to listen to their stories!