The Regina Humane Society’s (RHS) Kiddy Reader program aims to help children practice reading in a fun and engaging way, while also socializing homeless cats at the shelter.
Participants in the Kiddy Reader program, sit in one of the Society’s cat adoption rooms reading either aloud or silently.
The Humane Society says the calm reading and the presence of the child both relaxes the cats and greatly improves their socialization, leading to more adoptions.
“Studies show that animals can be a great non-evaluative source of support for children learning to read” says Bill Thorn, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at the RHS. “The children enjoy the interaction with the animals and this helps make the learning process more enjoyable. They often show a more sustained focus and improved attitudes towards school”.
Each Kiddy Reader participant receives a Kiddy Reader Card that tracks their reading progress.
Once 10 books have been read, they can choose a prize from the Kiddy Reader Treasure Chest.
Readers receive a certificate and picture with a shelter cat when 20 books are read.
The program is open to children between 7 and 12 years of age and their parent or guardian who must complete a short RHS orientation session.