The Delta Community Animal Shelter is offering an innovative new program to support reading and education for local youth, as well as the betterment of lives of the shelter animals.
The Tales 4 Tails Reading Enhancement Program invites youth aged 6–13 for reading sessions where they read to an animal living at the shelter waiting for a forever home.
The activity helps children improve their reading levels and confidence.
In turn, the children help calm stressed shelter animals and socialize them with people, improving the animal lives while they call the shelter a temporary home.
“I wanted to figure out a way that children could get involved with the shelter animals, as the future of animal welfare is grounded in how our children feel about them,” said Sarah Jones, Manager of Delta Community Animal Shelter.
Last year, Jones heard about animal shelters in the United States that had implemented similar reading programs.
With the recognition from the University of California School of Veterinary Medicine that children become better readers when they regularly read aloud to animals, shelter reading programs have been popping up all over the U.S.
Jones explored the programs being offered elsewhere and through her research created Tales 4 Tails specific for Delta Community Animal Shelter.
The program has been open for three weeks and participants are already benefiting.
“It has been incredible to observe kids reading to the shelter animals these past couple of weeks,” said Jones. “The cats cozied up very quickly to their Tales 4 Tails reading buddy and were very much at ease, and that made the kids feel so proud.”
Delta Community Animal Shelter staff invite your family to participate.
Until August, participants who read at the shelter will be included in the Fraser Valley Regional Library (FVRL) Summer Reading Club and can enter their name in a grand prize draw for every 15-minute reading session they complete (supported by FVRL).
If you would like to participate in Tales 4 Tails or learn more about the program, call 604-940-7111. DCAS is located at 7505 Hopcott Rd.
• For children ages 6–13 who are able to read at any level.
• Reading sessions are 20 minutes each and flexible to the child’s schedule during the following times: Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday from 12-2 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Reading sessions are booked in advance (604-940-7111) and allotted to one family per time slot (maximum of two siblings can come together).
• Children are to be supervised by an adult at all times.
• Children can bring their own book or choose from the DCAS library (donated by Black Bond Books, Orca Book Publishers and Ashley Spires Illustration).
• Not all animals are suitable for children. Staff will select the most appropriate animals. If a dog is chosen to be suitable, a volunteer or staff member will accompany the dog.