What Do You Get When You Combine Elementary School Kids Learning To Read…And Stray Dogs?! Magic, Apparently!

The Shelter Buddies Reading Program has got to be the best thing that anyone has ever come up with. Ever. Just take a look at these next pictures and you’ll see why!2.29a8

It was a simple idea that has grown and become something amazing! While teaching young kids to read and helping them practice, they are also helping these dogs at the shelter to become accustomed to humans. These dogs have been through hard times. Rescued from toxic homes, picked up off the streets, and some have been abandoned. Getting them to trust humans again is a difficult journey, but by being around these children and hearing their voices, they are learning as well. By the time they are adopted, these dogs will be comfortable around humans again!2.29a9

The children understand that they are helping the dogs to cope with their new situations. They can empathize with the animals and take their reading time a lot more seriously because of it. They are serving a purpose and helping these dogs to “get back on their paws,” and so they are happy to be helping out.2.29a10


When the dogs exhibit curious behavior and calmly approach the window, the children can toss them a treat! This helps fearful dogs to gain courage and come forward when other humans will be looking to adopt them, and encourages  high-energy dogs to tone it down when humans come around.

The children who sign up for the program must complete 10 hours of supervised reading time before they are allowed to come back with their parents any time that they want.

This program is amazing, and I hope that more places can start doing this – for the good of the children and the dogs!

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