Shelter Program Allows Children to Practice Reading… to Cats

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The Humane Society of Weld County, Colorado is launching a new reading program, Once a Paws a Time, where elementary school children are paired with homeless cats to read aloud to them.  This program is aimed at allowing kids to practice reading in a low-pressure environment as well as to help the shelter’s cats get more used to human contact.

In previous similar programs, the cats, who have been rescued from the streets, are usually shy and anxious at first, but will warm up to the kids a few minutes after they sit down with their picture books.  The program helps the cats become socialized again — and therefore more adoptable.

The program is also an education initiative.  According to a news release from the HSWC, reading out loud helps students build oral reading fluency and reading automatically with expression.  Students increase their reading comprehension as well.


While cats and kittens may not understand the story, they do understand the soothing sound and comforting tone of a child’s voice, the release says.

Once A Paws A Time kicks off with a barbeque and information night May 31st, 5:30 P.M. at the Humane Society of Weld County, 1620 42nd St. in Evans, Colorado.

For more information contact [email protected]


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