Some students in Berks County, Pennsylvania, have a fun project. They take part in a program called Book Buddies. Kids from first through eighth grade volunteer, or give their time. They practice reading to cats at the Animal Rescue League. The cats at this shelter are waiting to be adopted, or taken into people’s homes.
The students in Book Buddies want to get better at reading. They read out loud to the cats in the cat adoption room. They can relax in front of the cats. They don’t have to worry about making mistakes. For every five books they read, they receive a ticket. They can trade the tickets for prizes.
The cats like it when the children visit. The children’s voices comfort them. The cats sometimes climb into the children’s laps while they read. Spending time with kids helps them get ready to be adopted. It makes the kids feel good to help the cats. They give them much needed love and affection.
Kristi Rodriguez started the Book Buddies program. She works at the Animal Rescue League. Her son Sean was struggling with reading. She brought him to the shelter to read to the cats. He had fun reading to them and his skills improved. Rodriguez knew if Sean enjoyed this program, other kids would, too.
The Book Buddies program is a great success. Other community cat shelters want to start their own Book Buddies programs.
Image credit: ©Mark Makela/Reuters
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Read another article about Book Buddies at CBBC Newsround.