The Tales to Tails program at Santa Cruz Public Libraries has been helping to improve kids’ reading confidence for six years now. This literacy program is for young readers who are experiencing trouble learning to read, as well as for avid readers searching for more opportunities to read aloud.
Youth are teamed up with certified therapy animals—dogs and cats and even bunnies—creating a comfortable, nonjudgmental environment for children to practice reading. Research shows that children who have frequent positive reading experiences will associate reading as an enjoyable activity, making it easier to practice more often and continue developing their reading skills.
One parent said, “I love the Tales to Tails program because I have seen how much it has improved my children’s reading skills. My youngest daughter has improved tremendously. She doesn’t like to read at home because she prefers to play, however when we go to the Tales to Tails program she loves to read—that is why the time with the dog is so special for us.”
Another parent sees the benefit for daughter Naomi in sharing. “She does get a lot of support from family and school which have encouraged her love of reading. However, the joy she gets from sharing a book and reading it to someone else—that’s all Tales to Tails. She even sets up stuffy stand-ins if she feels it’s too long a wait from one visit to the next!”
Hear what other parents have to say about Tales to Tails in this video clip where you can see kids with animals in their reading sessions.
For the full schedule of Tales to Tails and a comprehensive program video, visit santacruzpl.org/kids/tales.
To register for a 20 minute time slot at any branch, please contact the Tales to Tails team at (831) 427-7717 or firstname.lastname@example.org.