JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Children can once again read to dogs and cats at the Jacksonville Humane Society now that the new Adoption, Education and Community Resource Center has opened.
The Pawsitive Reading program is returning, thanks to a grant from the Jim Moran Foundation to honor what would have been Jim Moran’s 99th birthday.
Pawsitive Reading began in 2013, but due to construction of the new JHS facility, the popular children’s program was put on hold last May. In the new center, Pawsitive Reading gets several upgrades, including the opportunity for children to read any time during the adoption center hours, seven days a week.
Also, with the Moran Foundation’s funding, each child will receive a brand new book.
The Humane Society said Pawsitive Reading provides benefits to both the child who reads and the pet who listens. The said the children may feel more comfortable reading to a dog or cat than to an adult, and this practice helps to increase literacy.
Shelter pets, who are facing the stress of living in an unfamiliar setting and are enriched when listening to children read. It helps them relax and feel comfortable at the front of the kennel, which in turn increases the odds of adoption, the organization said.
“We are very excited to bring back one of most popular programs," JHS Executive Director Denise Deisler said in a statement. “We can’t wait to share other programs such as camp and field trips with the community, too."
Children interested in participating must attend a short information session with a parent or guardian. Those are held weekly at the Jacksonville Humane Society. Parents or guardians must remain with children throughout the duration of their stay.
For more information about information sessions and Pawsitive Reading, visit JaxHumane.org/read.