Coach Campbell is cleaning up after a rec center intramural game, Bobby is helping. Coach Campbell asks, “So, how is school going? Passing all your classes?”
Bobby answers, “Yeah, but I am almost failing English. I am having a hard time reading out loud. I get all nervous, and I am afraid the other kids will laugh at me. The out loud reading is a big part of the class grade. I want to get better, but I just get so nervous.”
Coach answers, “How about you practice reading out loud? Like part of your homework. Just something you do every day to get better, like practicing basketball made you a better player.”
Bobby asks, “But where do I practice? There are always people around me. Plus, I also don’t like being all alone.”
Coach Campbell answers, “What if there was a place where I could guarantee not a single person would be around to hear you reading aloud, or laugh at you, and, you wouldn’t be lonely? Would that work?” Bobby says, “Yeah, sure – but, where is that place?”
Coach Campbell says, “The local animal shelter. You can sit and read to the dogs all day long if you want. You can read the same sentence again and again if you need to, the dogs won’t mind. They will be happy for the company.”
Bobby answers, “Wow, that sounds cool. Yeah, let’s go THERE!”
Story by: Ned Campbell (voice of Coach Campbell, “Can Do” Street), teacher and wrestling coach in Brooklyn, NY
Parent Note: For more information about children reading to dogs, check out:
- Children read aloud to dogs
A growing number of libraries and some schools in the region are inviting volunteers to bring their dogs in to help children learn, hoping the pets will calm children who are struggling, excite those who are bored, and help kids equate reading with fun.
- Children ‘Deck the Howls’ at shelter’s reading to dogs holiday event
This is open to children ages 5-11 who wanted to come to the shelter and read holiday stories to the adoptable dogs. According to the shelter’s YouTube page, the kids made toys, treats and pillows at the event, and helped tuck the dogs in for the night.