Canine reading support

by Anonymous Author

The Selwyn District Libraries’ Paws for Reading programme is being extended in Rolleston and Leeston.

The programme encourages children to read to a friendly dog, helping them gain greater confidence reading aloud, as well as developing their literacy.

Libraries manager Vicki Carlyon said the feedback on the programmes’ run so far has been positive.

“After running the Paws for Reading trial in term two and three this year we have been very pleased with the feedback we’ve received from children and their parents,” she said. 

“The volunteer dog owners selected by the Selwyn Dog Training Club have also enjoyed contributing to children’s reading progress and seeing the enjoyment both dogs and children take from their interactions.

“Library staff members are present during the sessions, however children are encouraged to read to the dog with minimal adult intervention.” She said the dogs have been carefully selected and are monitored by their handler. Heather Goh said the sessions were very beneficial to the reading confidence of her sons Stanley, 6 and Edward, 5, who attended Paws for Reading sessions at Rolleston Library.

“Reading to dogs has helped them a lot with their reading and I have noticed they are now more comfortable reading out loud,” she said.

Stanley said he likes reading to the dogs because ‘the dogs listen and like my stories’, while Edward’s favourite books to read to the dogs are books about cats.

The free fifteen-minute sessions will continue to be available at Leeston and Rolleston on a fortnightly basis, with most taking place on the mobile library bus. 

Bookings are open now for term four.

Visit or contact your local library for more information.