Now more than ever, you are needed to donate your old blankets, towels, and sheets to your local animal shelter. With financial cut-backs, repairs on shelters are often put off, so if it's drafty, the animals suffer. I know my shelter uses rags to stuff under doors. No kidding! Empty out those closets... this is your chance to get rid of stuff and do something useful!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Children improve reading skills with canine listeners at Hoboken Public Library

via Mark Maurer for The Jersey Journal :

(Mark Maurer/Hoboken Now)
Sheffield is one of two therapy dogs that children can read to at the Hoboken Public Library once a month.

A group of 12 kindergartners and second-graders individually read aloud today to trained therapy dogs at the Hoboken Public Library, 500 Park Ave.

Each child was allotted 10 minutes to improve their reading skills by selecting a book and reading to either Sheffield, a Western mix breed, or Sofie, a West Highland terrier.

Lois Gross, event founder, organizes this monthly event for 12 children, first-come first-served.

Due to Black History Month, the dog reading program will be postponed next month until March.

This afternoon, Josephine Conlon, 6, read Dr. Seuss’ “Clam-I-Am!” to the frisky Sheffield.

“I love him,” Josephine said of Sheffield. “I know him. The owner is my babysitter.”

Josephine’s mom, Jaz Conlon, said this is their first time attending this event, but they’ll absolutely be returning in March because her daughter had fun and was getting educational value from it.

“Now she feels like she’s the big girl, reading to something smaller,” Conlon said.

After Annabelle Slifirski, 6, finished reading "Night of the New Magicians" to Sofie, her mother asked if she thinks Sofie heard her reading.

“Dogs don’t listen,” Slifirski said.

How do you know?

“Because I know,” she said.