Deaf kids read to shelter cats

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By Karen Harrison Binette


Some deaf and hearing impaired kids read aloud to cats through a shelter’s Kitty Literature program, which benefits both the children and the animals.

Students from Northwest School for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children visited the Seattle Humane Society in Bellevue, Washington recently for a read-aloud session with the shelter’s cats.

The program helps children with their reading skills and confidence and helps to socialize the cats and allow them to feel comfortable in the presence of children. Children from 5 to 10 years old participate in the program.

The Northwest School students picked out their books ahead of time and practiced reading them aloud at school and at home before they visited the shelter.

The kids also got to play with the cats during their visit.

“They do surprise me all the time with what they know. And they’re teachers also. They have to teach other people who don’t know about hearing loss,” said Danise Ito, a teacher with the Northwest School.

“I think it’s great. I think anytime kids can have some positive interactions with animals is a great benefit to them and the animals because the animals are seeing that humans, kids, adults aren’t that scary,” said Jennifer Whitworth with Seattle Humane.

The shelter’s Kitty Literature sessions are held Monday through Friday from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Watch the KING 5 News report on the story:

Quoted comments above are from King 5 News.

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