Volunteer Beverly Calvert said the Paws for Literacy program, in which children practice reading by reading to dogs, encourages kids and is great for the dogs, that love the attention.
“I love working with children and I love dogs, so bringing the two together is just the perfect match for me,” she said. She brought her dog Callie to the Maxwell Branch Library in Augusta on Tuesday for the program.
The dogs that participate are specially trained to work as therapy dogs with the help of other dog handler volunteers and the Alliance of Therapy Dogs, a national organization which supplies registration, support, and insurance.
Dogs often visit nursing homes, hospitals, libraries, universities, and even the airport to visit stressed travelers.
“Overwhelmingly, a dog going in to visit with someone, it does raise their spirits,” Calvert said. “I know it makes me feel better. Your blood pressure comes down a little bit if you really enjoy having a dog with you.”
For more information on the therapy dogs, visit the Alliance for Therapy Dogs website at therapydogs.com.