By Sit. Stay. Read.

219,000: This is the number of unique words your child will be exposed to per year if you read just one book per day for a year. But motivating a young reader can be a challenge, especially if that child is already struggling with literacy. Feelings of anxiousness, loss of focus, and low self-esteem are some of the effects you might see. So, as a caregiver, what do you do?

EVPL North Park has one solution that we would like to offer called Sit. Stay. Read. Research has proven that reading with a therapy animal creates positive change in attitudes towards reading aloud. This includes improved concentration, reduced stress, and increased self-confidence. Beyond the emotional and behavioral changes, reading with therapy dogs can also improve the rate, comprehension, and word recognition (looking at you, sight words!) of a child learning to read.

We don’t just want to improve your child’s relationship with reading. Children with special needs may see improved social interactions when working with a therapy dog. It offers a nonjudgmental, quiet, calming social partner to engage with. Being around a trained dog can help the child manage mood-related challenges, meet sensory needs, encourage empathy, and more. To help us help you, we want to offer additional accommodations. If your child needs extra time for transitions, low lighting, fidgets, headphones, visual timers, or schedules, we can arrange these for your visit.

Kuma, our therapy dog, has undergone extensive training, certification, and is insured. If you would like to reserve a 15-minute time slot, please call the EVPL North Park location at 812.428.8237 or log onto evpl.org to reserve your space. Our program will be on Saturday mornings in May from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, and on Wednesday mornings in June and July from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Meet Kuma

Mental Health
Lucia Blount