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Taking the lead with our new reading programme, Dogs in Libraries

Dogs in libraries programme
Waikato District Council is taking the lead with its new reading programme, Dogs in Libraries, where children can practice their reading skills by reading aloud to a dog in a relaxed, friendly environment.

Research shows that reading to a dog helps with the fear of being judged and, over time, their reading ability and self-confidence improves.

“We’re extremely excited to bring this programme to the Waikato district,” says Animal Control Team Leader, Megan May. “This type of programme has been run in other parts of New Zealand and around the world with fantastic results. It’s been shown to increase a child’s relaxation while reading because it’s a lot less intimidating than reading to people and it allows children to proceed at their own pace.”

Children will be able to read to one of three dogs, at any of the libraries in the Waikato district. 

“We will be starting the programme at the Ngaruawahia Library however people can book in for a session at any one of our libraries.” 

“The three dogs we use in the programme are owned by some of our Animal Control Officers and they were all previously Pound dogs or rescue dogs. They have been extensively tested to make sure they have the right temperament so that it’s a safe environment for the kids.”

Monty is a five-year-old Labrador cross, Charlie Brown is a five-year-old Shih Tzu cross and Koey is a Labrador Boxer cross that is almost two years old. Library staff and Animal Control Officer will be present at all times to help facilitate the session. 

“The programme isn’t just limited to children – adults or any new immigrants that want to practice their reading can also book in for a session.”

For more information please contact your local library: 
For more information please contact:
Sheryl Flay
Senior Communications Advisor
Waikato District Council
07 824 8633