Kids Learn To Read With Help From Local Dogs

VAN BUREN COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A program in Van Buren County is using dogs to help kids learn to read.

It's called Pawsitive Influence, and was started by Paw Paw veterinarian Ann Marie Baker.

We went to Mattawan Early Elementary School to see the program in action.

Early Intervention Specialist Barbara Manzone says Mattawan Public Education Foundation gave them $500 for the program that includes about 20 students.

"We select reticent readers, readers who just need a little more confidence and practice," Manzone said.

The kids sit beside the dogs, brought from Paw Paw Veterinary Clinic, pet them as they're reading and subsequently are more willing to take risks reading to dogs.

Manzone said one child's mother told her yesterday that she shouldn't believe how her son's confidence in reading has grown and developed since he started the program.

Dr. Baker told us that many kids are now testing out of the program as a result of its success.

The program runs every other Tuesday at the Paw Paw District Library. The next meeting will be April 10th.

Visit the links section of our website for more details.

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