Saturday, July 21, 2018

Reading with Pets

Today I am presenting at the conference of the International Literacy Association in Austin, Texas, with Janet (Wong), author Kathi Appelt, and librarian Amy McFadden. This time, our focus is on reading with pets-- a practice that has been around at least 20 years (in an organized way), but seems to be having a big moment once again. I'm setting the stage and sharing some key research findings about the benefits of pairing children and therapy dogs. Janet (Wong) talks about how collaboration helps us be more innovative in trying many things, including reading with pets. And we'll both be sharing excerpts from our book, Pet Crazy, of course. Kathi Appelt talks about her beautiful picture book, Mogie, about a (real) therapy dog who became the heart of a Houston hospital. Amy McFadden shares her experiences with Barking Book Buddies, an Austin program that pairs kids and dogs reading together. And we'll even have volunteers from that program attending WITH THERAPY DOGS! Here are some of my slides on the background of pet reading programs.



















Be sure to check out Heidi's Poetry Friday blog post at My Juicy Little Universe about her week at the poetry institute at the Poetry Foundation. It is full of good ideas! Here's the link.

5 comments:

Margaret Simon said...

I'm so envious of all who get to be in this session. I wish I had signed up for ILA but my summer looked too full for it. I have Charlie, my dog, on my lap as I read your post. Good luck with the session. Awesomeness!

Mary Lee said...

Thanks for sharing your presentation and resources!!

Carol Varsalona said...

Sylvia, this session at ILA must have been a hit based on the set of slides you have shared. I wish I was able to attend the conference. I enjoyed your session with Janet at NCTE18 last year. Enjoy the rest of the conference.

Michelle Kogan said...

Thanks for this rich animal friendly post Sylvia-I love all the pics especially the ones with children reading to the dogs, and Alfred Hitchcock. Seems like there are so many benefits to improving reading by having a pet. The conference sounds and looks intriguing–I was in a workshop with Kathi Appelt a while back–what a wonderful writer she is and instructor too!

Heidi Mordhorst said...

I often suggest that my students read to a pet or "snuggle pet," as my son has always called his stuffed animals (he really didn't like THAT term), but I've always said it as more of a joke. But I will be taking this much more seriously thanks to your research notes and presentation! Hmmm...I wonder if there are therapy dogs in our school neighborhood? Thanks for taking the time to upload all that!