It's summer vacation, which means that valuable skills learned in school can get rusty.
A newly reinstated program at the Reedley Library called "Read with a Dog" is helping children to sharpen their reading skills over the summer, and they get to cuddle up with a furry friend. Beginner readers also benefit.
Each Saturday morning, Shannon Escobedo brings her two certified therapy dogs from the Wonder Valley area to the Reedley Library to read with children. Escobedo is a volunteer with the the Fresno County Public Library system’s “Read with a Dog” program which is available every Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Reedley Library.
As a volunteer, Escobedo says she has one of the best jobs in the world.
“Even on slow days, I get to hang out in the library and read with a dog,” she said.
The "Read with a Dog" program has been reinstated after being unavailable for a while.
“It’s an excellent program. I am very fond of it,” said Terrance McArthur, a representative from the Fresno County Public Library. “Often, children who won’t really talk will open up with the dogs. It’s a positive experience for them. They really like it.”
Escobedo’s dogs are named “Doxie” and “Fozzie Bear.” Doxie is an 8-year-old Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, and Dachshund mix. Fozzie Bear is a 4-year-old Golden Retriever mix.
“I love bringing the dogs out and instilling the joy of reading to kids,” Escobedo said.
Escobedo is a member of the Fresno chapter of Therapy Dogs International, which evaluates and certifies handlers and their dogs and connects them with area organizations, such as the Reedley Library.
On Saturday morning, June 16, Escobedo wheeled her dogs into the library in a large pet carrier. The two dogs were anxious to get out. Doxie was first.
“Doxie is a veteran. He loves to read,” Escobedo said. “He’s been doing this a long time.”
To see the full story, subscribe to our print or e-edition. For more information, please call The Reedley Exponent at 559-638-2244.