Cary Library Launches “Reading to the Animals” Program

Posted March 18, 2013, at 8:11 a.m.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 3 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Location: Cary Library, Houlton, Maine

For more information: 207-290-4967

The Cary Library is introducing its new “Reading to the Animals” program during a kickoff event held at the library in Houlton on April 10, 2013 at 3 p.m.

The program will encourage children to read by having them read to therapy animals. For this program, the listener will be Morgan, a lovable Golden Retriever representing Silent Sidekicks, a Lincoln, Maine based Animal-Assisted Therapy & Activities nonprofit organization.

The kickoff event will be facilitated by Silent Sidekicks founder and Executive Director Danielle Ireland. During the event, Ireland will explain the program and its guidelines. Parents and guardians will have a chance to ask questions, see how Morgan interacts with children and sign up their children for subsequent reading sessions set for April 17 at 3 pm and April 18 at 5:30 pm. Each child’s reading session will be 15 minutes during which the child will read and get to know Morgan. Children can also be signed up for a “Reader of the Pack” card. The cards will be punched at each reading visit, allowing the children a chance to earn rewards.

Animals are good reading companions, according to Ireland, because they listen attentively, don’t laugh at mistakes, nor judge or criticize, allowing children to move at their own pace, and can be less intimidating than peers. Participating children make enormous strides in reading and communication skills while along the way building self-esteem, confidence and social skills. Although animals can’t read, they are great listeners. Their presence creates an inviting and motivating environment for the children.

For more information on Silent Sidekicks and their programs assisting people throughout the state of Maine, please visit their website: or Like us on Facebook at /SilentSidekicks