“Paws to read” with Agnès

DELPHOS – After years of research, a new program has been brought to the Delphos public library.

Paws to Read is a literacy program designed for children ages 6-10 to practice their reading skills and gain confidence in their abilities.

Children read to a certified therapy dog ​​to ensure the session remains relaxing and is a safe, non-judgmental space for the child. Several libraries in the area have run similar programs in the past and Youth Services Librarian Rachel Strahm had the opportunity to attend one of them in Lima, which fueled her desire to bring the program to Delphos.

“We’ve been trying to do this for several years,” Strahm said. “It is difficult to find therapy dogs in the area.

However, just recently Agnes, a 2-year-old Golden Retriever from Middle Point, was listed and Strahm said the library jumped at the chance to finally launch Paws to Read in Delphos. Children practice their literacy skills on the library floor.

“They sit on the floor with her and read to her,” she said. “She’s not going to judge them.”

To better prepare Agnès for the visit, her owner Amy Lauf took her twice to the library to familiarize herself with the setting so that she was serene during her sessions with the children. Agnes and the children will sit on the floor together for 15 minutes while the children read to her.

“We’re doing 15 minutes to give everyone a little kick,” Strahm said.

They always hope to bring in more therapy dogs when they can find them and by starting slowly the library is able to gauge interest in the program.

“I can keep building as I go,” Strahm said. “I hope more people see this and want to register.”

To register for future sessions, parents can call the Delphos Library at 419-695-4015 and leave their name and email address at reception or be added to the mailing list for future Paws to Read events, parents can visit the Delphos Public Facebook page of the library’s youth services and fill out the Google form.

“Hope people take advantage of it, it’s free and fun,” Strahm said.

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