Dogs helping kids get comfortable with reading
SUNBURY – Some special dogs visited the Degenstein Library in Sunbury this weekend to help kids learn the joy of reading. Therapy dogs from the Central Pennsylvania Dog Training Club were the guests at the Degenstein Library in Sunbury, to help kids enjoy reading to parents and teachers.
Jeanne Williamson is youth services coordinator at the Sunbury library. She said, “Lots of times, children are reluctant to read to adults or in front of other children, but they will do it for a dog, because they feel comfortable.
Tom Hahn took time to talk with the children and parents in attendance about what it takes for a dog to become a “Therapy Dog” . He says the dogs are trained to be gentle and calm and follow many commands.
Hahn said, “What they have to do to become Therapy Dogs is to have what is known as a ‘Good Citizenship’ certificate. The certificate is about discipline. They have to be able to sit, stay and be friendly with other people and other dogs. They need to come to you when you call them.”
The dogs are also trained to be around hospital equipment so they can visit local hospitals and nursing homes. You can see the dogs at the Degenstein Library in WKOK’s latest video at www.wkok.com. (Jillian Lewis)