The Downeast Dog Scouts encourage children to read to their dogs in celebration of Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Dogs are great listeners! Their presence creates an inviting and motivating environment that is relaxed, comfortable, nonjudgmental, empowering and fun! The relationship between children and dogs is magical when children snuggle with a dog to read their favorite books. With Dr. Seuss’s March 2nd birthday falling on a Saturday this year, the official National Education Association’s Read Across America Day will be celebrated Friday, March 1, to enable schools across the nation to participate in the reading fun.
Read Across America Day is an annual reading motivation and awareness event that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on the March 2nd birthday of beloved children’s author, Dr. Seuss. For 2013, The Cat in the Hat is back with the National Education Association’s theme, “Grab your Hat and Read with the Cat.” All across the country, thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers participate by bringing together kids, teens, and books, and you can too!
This year, Renaissance Dental teams up with Read Across America to encourage children to pick up a book and a toothbrush. They are asking children and their parents to brush for two minutes, two times per day plus read for 20 minutes each day. That’s a daily total of 24 minutes focused on developing good oral health and reading skills. American students miss 51 million hours of school every year because of oral health problems. Students who are absent miss critical instruction time especially in early grades where reading skills are the building blocks of future learning.
Motivating children to read is an important factor in student achievement and creating lifelong successful readers. Research has shown that children who spend more time reading for fun on their own have higher reading scores. Dogs can help children to read for fun! Since 2008, Downeast Dog Scouts Troop members and their listening dogs have provided over 1600 hours of volunteer community service listening to children read at local libraries and schools. Children Reading to Dogs Programs increase children’s reading skills, confidence and self-esteem. Children that have special canine relationships also develop empathy for dogs and others. The reading sessions create a love of reading and lay the foundation for a lifetime of learning.