when is mulberry sale Library program facing its ‘last hoorah’
Timmins Public Library staff are asking residents to use a program or lose it.
Tales and Tails of Joy pairs a child with a therapy dog to encourage reading in a safe environment. Francine Denis, early childhood education advisor at the library, said this is the program’s “last hoorah.”
When it was first offered five years ago, had a very, very good response. Everyone would come. Then it kind of died down. and Tails started up again Monday evening, with a few children meeting two therapy dogs coincidentally named Lily and Lilly for reading sessions. There are two more scheduled nights for the activity on Jan. 22 and 29.
Denis said she’ll add more dates into February if people show an interest.
The idea is to pair children with a non judgemental good listener.
don’t judge, said Denis. kind of animal therapy is great therapy. A lot of children sometimes feel intimidated reading to their parents. I know my son did.
then I decided a few years ago to put my son into therapy reading as well. Just like that, when mom wasn’t around, he was able to ask for help from the volunteer.
reading to a stranger and an animal is a lot easier than reading to somebody who may judge you. said there aren’t any restrictions on who can participate, though the program is advertised for and reluctant readers.
there’s a 15 year old that has difficulty reading or doesn’t feel comfortable reading in front of anyone, they’re also welcome to come in, she said.
Denis added that library staff can also help parents choose books to meet their child’s reading level.
It all started when St. John Ambulance approached the library to offer volunteer handlers and their child certified therapy dogs.
been popular across other cities, said Denis. thought it was our opportunity now to offer this to our community as well. Fogal is one of the volunteers. He and Lilly worked with two children Monday night.
help out, and towards the end of it, kids are pretty resilient and they grasp things. They’re little sponges, he said.
not so much only the reading part of it, but it’s knowing that . they’ll have a pet that’s going to be sitting beside them and have that interaction, as well as their undivided attention. and his daughter Emily decided to certify their dogs about five years ago.
thought that it would be a good father and daughter activity, he said. not only good for the folks that we see, but it’s also something fun for us to do together, which is pretty cool. therapy dog certification process includes testing the dog make sure that they don’t have a mean bone in them and that they’re able to be there and not snap back or anything. volunteer said some kids may be shy and intimidated when the reading session starts.
to know there’s an animal there that has got their undivided attention, and they’re not going to judge them in any respects, I think that means a lot for the kid, said Fogal.