This is a unique opportunity for all ages to engage with cats and read to them. In return, the cats will hopefully listen; certainly take an interest in the tones of the reader’s voice; sit and purr and will become a “book buddy”: a friend with whom individuals can share a reading experience.
This idea has been trialled in Pennsylvania in the USA and has been adopted by ourselves and used at the shelter for the last few years.
Without pressure from human teachers, adults or peers, our readers relax and reading confidence develops and grows over a relatively short space of time. We have seen differences in reading abilities in one session of thirty minutes!
We recommend at least four weeks of once weekly visits of thirty minutes. Schools and organised groups will receive our risk assessment and children will receive a “Book Buddies” badge when they have completed their programme.
The Book Buddies programme is successful in three ways:
- Improves reading confidence
- Provides stimulation and company for the cats in our care
- Educates individuals in the role that pets can play by creating a special bond between reader and listener; a friend for life; a book buddy
If you are interested in the Book Buddies programme, please get in touch with our shelter manager, Marion Micklewright.