From the City of Pleasanton:
The Pleasanton Public Library will host a free event to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its popular Paws to Read program, which was the first of its kind implemented in California. Today there are dozens of Paws to Read programs around the state.
The celebration gets underway at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 10 in downtown Pleasanton with a Pooch Parade to the library. The parade begins at Veterans Plaza Park at 550 Peters Avenue and proceeds down Peters to Old Bernal Avenue and to the front entrance of the library at 400 Old Bernal Avenue.
A brief recognition ceremony will be followed by a demonstration of dog enrichment activities by professional dog trainer Christine Salazar, a Meet and Greet of the Paws to Read dog teams and an opportunity for all children to experience Paws to Read by signing up for a 15-minute reading session.
Pet adoptions through the Valley Humane Society will also be conducted at the event, which will also feature kid’s activities, and information booths, including an “Ask the Vet(erinarian)” booth.
This transformative program has children reading one-on-one to dogs to improve literacy skills. The program removes the pressure of reading in the classroom and studies show it leads other positive results such as improved reading scores, improved confidence and self-esteem.
More than 7,000 children in grades 1-5 have benefitted from the program over the past decade. This much-in-demand program is offered for six consecutive weeks during the fall, winter, and spring, and for four weeks in the summer. Between 18 and 22 handlers and dogs participate each week.
In partnership with local schools, reading specialists are given priority registration for their students. All Paws to Read dogs and handlers are certified through the Valley Humane Society, which provides an orientation to the program, a Canine Comfort workshop, and a temperament and obedience assessment of the dog to ensure that it is well suited to the program.