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Dogs give children confidence reading


Children read out loud in library-sponsored program



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Memphis listens to Kate Geyer, 8, as she reads to him. ABBY BREAUX. (click for larger version)

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Kendall Thompson, 5, reads to the certified therapy dog, Memphis. ABBY BREAUX. (click for larger version)

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From left: Colleen Scully, Memphis and Kate Geyer at Hampton Park Library. ABBY BREAUX. (click for larger version)

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Memphis, 3, listens to the children as they read. ABBY BREAUX. (click for larger version)

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Hampton Park Library provides books for the children to read to Memphis, a certified therapy dog. ABBY BREAUX. (click for larger version)

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Kate Geyer has become close friends with Memphis at Paws to Read. ABBY BREAUX. (click for larger version)
February 19, 2013
CUMMING, Ga. — A partnership between the county's library system and animal rescue organizations is helping young readers gain their confidence.

The program is called Paws to Read and it's being held throughout the Forsyth County Library branches in conjunction with the Humane Society of Forsyth County.

The program helps children in kindergarten and higher grades improve literacy skills by reading to a certified therapy dog.

Memphis, a 3-year-old golden retriever is part of Humane Hearts, a program of the Humane Society of Forsyth County that provides animal-assisted therapy and activities.

Memphis and owner Colleen Scully were at the Hampton Park Library, 5345 Settingdown Road in Cumming, on Wednesday, Feb. 13.

"Memphis is very sweet and has such a high spirit," Scully said. "I knew he was capable of passing the tests to become a certified therapy dog. He is a very loving."

Kate Geyer, 8, is one of many children who read to Memphis and has grown close to him over the last several visits to the library.

Geyer has started to raise money to donate to the Humane Society. So far, she has $20.

Not only are children practicing their reading skills, but through the loyalty of dogs like Memphis, they are learning the importance of giving back.

Paws to Read is offered at the Cumming Library, Hampton Park Library and Sharon Forks Library.

For more information and scheduling, visit www.forsythpl.org or call 770-781-9840.

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