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First-graders practice literacy by reading to dogs

WISN Milwaukee logo WISN Milwaukee 3/3/2018
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There are some things you'd expect to hear when walking through an animal shelter, like the sound of so many dogs vying for attention.

But over in Bungalow 8A at the Animal Foundation in Las Vegas, a small voice seems to lower the anxiety level.

Six-year-old Jade Sandoval is reading a book called "The Stray Dog" to a pitbull named Sky. Jade is there with about 80 other first graders practicing their reading skills to an audience that never judges: adoptable dogs looking for a new home.

"The thing I like about dogs is that they're furry and they're not like pet snakes, because snakes can bite," Jade said.

It's the third year kids have come to the shelter to read to dogs, and there's no question the kids aren't the only ones to benefit. The dogs also learn socialization, making them more adoptable.

And as the day wears on, the dogs do settle in. Maybe it's the tone of voice, but chances are it's just the innocence of 6-year-olds just learning to read, and finding a furry someone more than willing to listen.


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