JACKSONVILLE, FL - Showing a little kindness can go a long way. Especially to animals who may not have seen much kindness so far in their lifetimes.
"When a little person comes and just sits and reads to them, it is so sweet to see them fall asleep and de-stress a little bit. It Is a win-win for everybody," says Lindsey Layendecker with the Jacksonville Humane Society.
Layendecker says even dogs that bark at first when the children approach their kennel often calm down in minutes and become quiet little listeners. Learning that people coming up to their kennels is a good thing.
And it isn’t just dogs, cats enjoy the attention too. The readers like siblings Kaylee and Spencer know their visits make a difference.
"It helps them with their self-esteem and I love helping the animals out," tells Kaylee.
It also helps the shelter see which animals really love children and that can be a game changer in getting adopted. Like the dog, Darla, she loves visits from readers like 8-year-old Paige.
"When we come by it helps them calm down and find a home quicker," tells Paige.
JHS says there have already been several adoptions as a result of Pawsitive Reading.
But the benefits aren’t all one sided.
"I think it helps them to calm down and it helps me improve my reading skills," tells Blake as he read a Wrinkle in Time to cats at the shelter.
Because when reading to the shelter animals, there’s no reason to be nervous.
"Dogs and cats don’t judge and they don’t care, they aren’t going to stop and correct you. So you can take your time and go over your words. So it is a great literacy skill for kids," tells Layendecker.