Reading program that includes therapy dogs returns to Alachua County libraries
One Alachua County Library District branch is bringing back a program that connects young readers and therapy dogs.
The first event is expected to take place at the High Springs branch on Wednesday, Oct. 19, at 2 p.m.
Children ages 5-11 are provided with the unique opportunity to read with a registered therapy dog. These service animals are all volunteered by their owners who enlisted in the program. Each library typically welcomes two dogs per event.
Several libraries throughout Alachua County have taken part in this program before. The program has stretched from the Headquarters Library located off of University Avenue all the way out to towns like Newberry and Archer.
A study published in the "Early Childhood Education Journal" determined that children felt significantly more inclined to read at an academic level when reading to a therapy dog weekly.
Besides the High Springs location, it is unclear when the rest of the libraries will begin to roll the program out again.