‘Read to a Dog’ lets kids curl up with a book, furry friend


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Youngsters will be able to take part in the popular Read to a Dog program when it comes to the Suntree/Viera Library Friday, Feb. 7.

VIERA VOICE photo

If youngsters want to practice their reading skills before a loving, non-judgmental audience, the Suntree/Viera Public Library may be the perfect spot to do so.

From 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, the library at 902 Jordan Blass Drive presents “Read to a Dog,” a program that lets kids of all ages share a favorite book with a specially trained furry companion provided by the nonprofit Space Coast Therapy Dogs.

“With these dogs, children will be able to sit with them and they’ll be able to pick out a book and read it with the dog,” said Scott Hauge, head of youth services at the library. 

“It helps them feel more comfortable reading out loud, and it helps them develop their skills.”

It’s the first time the library has offered the program, which has been a hit at five other Brevard County libraries, said Sharon Crockett, president of Space Coast Therapy Dogs. The event will be offered monthly through May, and then again from September to December.

A variety of dogs will be available to team up with young readers. 

“We have every breed you can imagine, from Chihuahuas to Great Danes,”
Crockett said.

Each animal in Space Coast Therapy Dogs is given special training classes, Hauge said.

“Once they pass the final program involving working with children, they’re allowed to participate in the Read to a Dog program,” he said.

Initial class size will be limited to 15 participants.  

“As the program grows, they’ll probably allow for a larger audience,” Hauge said.

Children can bring a beloved book from home or select one from the library, Hauge said.

“There is no age limit,” he added. “Children of all ages, toddlers, beginning readers, teens and ’tweens are all welcome.”

For more information about the program or to sign up, call 321-255-4404. VV