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Pets Help Struggling Kids Read

Brother and Sister Reading on Bench
Photograph by Getty Images/Fuse

Pet ownership already has so many benefits, including treating depression and just plain-old companionship, but a program out of Berks County, Pa., has found a whole new benefit to our cuddly friends: Helping struggling kids to read.

In one such case, according to ABC News, Colby Procyk, a 7-year-old has been coming to the Animal Rescue League of Berks County for a few months now, struggling at the beginning to comprehend sentences. But in that short amount of time of reading with the animals, he has garnered some serious accomplishments in his class, including most improved student. The relationship helps calm struggling readers like Colby and raise their confidence.

But the program isn't just helping the kids to read—it's helping the dogs and cats at the shelter learn to socialize with humans so they have a better chance to be adopted in the future. “It doesn’t matter to them [the cats] what the book is about, how well the child is reading to them or anything like that,” said volunteer Kristi Rodriguez. “They just love the one-on-one contact that the kids provide.”

A mutually beneficial program helping our kids get smarter and make shelter animals happier? We're on board.

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