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Reading program goes to the dogs
read to dog pic
The Turlock Library will be holding its Read to a Dog program for children who can read up to age 12 throughout the month of October. Sign-ups start Monday. - photo by Photo Contributed

Although Snoopy may have been kicked out of the library and told "no dogs allowed," the Turlock Library will be welcoming therapy dogs this October through a different kind of reading program.

The Read to a Dog program brings together certified therapy dogs with young readers for 15 minute sessions in which the child will have the opportunity to read out loud to their new canine friend.

"It's a wonderful program," said Janet Ciccarelli of the Turlock Library.

The program started at the Modesto Library and has been offered at the Turlock branch for the past three years.

Reading to a dog can increase a child's self-confidence and sense of accomplishment, especially in children who have trouble reading or are just learning to read, said Ciccarelli. The dogs offer unconditional acceptance and support, oftentimes creating a pressure-free environment for the young reader.

Community volunteers bring in the therapy dogs, many part of the Therapy Dogs International organization, said Michelle Machado of the Modesto Library.

There are limited sessions available for the Turlock Library Read to a Dog program and sign-ups start Monday. Sessions will run Mondays and Saturdays throughout the month of October, with varying times. Those interested in signing up can pick up a parental form at the Turlock Library, 550 Minaret Ave., or call 664-8100. The program is for children who can read up to age 12.