Children spend afternoon reading to therapy dogs at the library
Melaine Yerga-Woolwine, 9, reads a book to Blondie, a therapy dog, at the Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Christina Cox/The Signal
By Christina Cox
Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

As she quickly reads through each page of her book, Melaine Yerga-Woolwine softly pets Blondie, a Shetland sheepdog, who intently listens to her newfound friend’s words.

The 9-year-old had a chance to read to Blondie during a regular, bimonthly event at the Jo Anne Darcy Canyon Country Library where children have a chance to practice their reading skills with therapy dogs.

“I feel very lucky that we have it here,” Library Associate Kathie Widen said.  “They don’t jump up or bark… They just seem to love the sound of children, that’s part of what they do.”

From left to right, Rahim 12, reads a book as therapy dog trainer Sandy Dubin and her dog Nash listens at the Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Christina Cox/The Signal

For more than six years, on the first and third Thursday of the month, the library has welcomed the therapy dogs into its facility to allow children to read to the dogs for 10 to 15 minutes each.

“We have some days where there might be three dogs and other days when there might be five to six dogs,” Widen said.  “They [are accompanied] by professional dog trainers and their dogs are certified.  The trainers are helpful, if the children are reading and have a hard time saying a word they help them along.”

From left to right, Xochylh, 12, reads a book as therapy dog trainer Pat Fellows and her dog Charlie listen at the Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Christina Cox/The Signal

Dogs big and small are welcome to the library and children are allowed to choose which book they would like to read and which dog they would like to read to.

On Thursday, five dogs—Blondie, Charlie, Nash, Penny and Raz—were on deck, ready to listen to children of all ages read.

“What I have noticed and what I think is good about this is when kids start to read they are nervous to read and worried about reading in front of people,” Widen said.  “They don’t worry as much when they’re reading to dogs and that helps get them more comfortable reading.”

Nash, a therapy dog, sports his reading glasses at the Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Christina Cox/The Signal

ccox@signalscv.com
661-287-5575
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

About the author

Christina Cox

Christina Cox

Christina Cox is a multimedia journalist covering education, community and breaking news in the Santa Clarita Valley. She joined The Signal as a staff writer in August 2016.

Melaine Yerga-Woolwine, 9, reads a book to Blondie, a therapy dog, at the Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Christina Cox/The Signal

Children spend afternoon reading to therapy dogs at the library

As she quickly reads through each page of her book, Melaine Yerga-Woolwine softly pets Blondie, a Shetland sheepdog, who intently listens to her newfound friend’s words.

The 9-year-old had a chance to read to Blondie during a regular, bimonthly event at the Jo Anne Darcy Canyon Country Library where children have a chance to practice their reading skills with therapy dogs.

“I feel very lucky that we have it here,” Library Associate Kathie Widen said.  “They don’t jump up or bark… They just seem to love the sound of children, that’s part of what they do.”

From left to right, Rahim 12, reads a book as therapy dog trainer Sandy Dubin and her dog Nash listens at the Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Christina Cox/The Signal

For more than six years, on the first and third Thursday of the month, the library has welcomed the therapy dogs into its facility to allow children to read to the dogs for 10 to 15 minutes each.

“We have some days where there might be three dogs and other days when there might be five to six dogs,” Widen said.  “They [are accompanied] by professional dog trainers and their dogs are certified.  The trainers are helpful, if the children are reading and have a hard time saying a word they help them along.”

From left to right, Xochylh, 12, reads a book as therapy dog trainer Pat Fellows and her dog Charlie listen at the Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Christina Cox/The Signal

Dogs big and small are welcome to the library and children are allowed to choose which book they would like to read and which dog they would like to read to.

On Thursday, five dogs—Blondie, Charlie, Nash, Penny and Raz—were on deck, ready to listen to children of all ages read.

“What I have noticed and what I think is good about this is when kids start to read they are nervous to read and worried about reading in front of people,” Widen said.  “They don’t worry as much when they’re reading to dogs and that helps get them more comfortable reading.”

Nash, a therapy dog, sports his reading glasses at the Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Christina Cox/The Signal

ccox@signalscv.com
661-287-5575
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

About the author

Christina Cox

Christina Cox

Christina Cox is a multimedia journalist covering education, community and breaking news in the Santa Clarita Valley. She joined The Signal as a staff writer in August 2016.