Many children have problems reading. The school environment can be intimidating, and it’s no fun to constantly be corrected. At the same time, shelters are overcrowded with pets yearning for some human affection. The connection between reading problems and shelter pets might not be perfectly clear, but bear with us. It’s there.
The children need practice and purpose in an environment that won’t judge them. The shelter pets need socialization and human interaction.
Turns out that children love to read to animals, and particularly cats are soothed by the rhythmic child voice.
Organizations around the country now offer programs where children are invited to read to animals. In many cases the same child comes back over and over again, and might even rehearse the story before presenting it to the pet.
These programs are particularly beneficial for many autistic children who find the animals a great source of support. Researchers at Tufts University claim the events lead to an increased use of language and improved social interactions.