Kids boost confidence by reading to shelter pets

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Elementary students visited the Rockingham-Harrisonburg SPCA on Tuesday for the opportunity to boost their confidence in reading.

In addition to donating several bags of pet food, the kids from Fulks Run read books to dogs and cats at the shelter.

"The students get to practice their reading and it helps to socialize the animals," said Karla Dick, a reading specialist at Fulks Run Elementary. "They'll come to the front of the kennels quicker when they're read to and visited, and the children seem to really enjoy it."

The children, in the 3rd through 5th grades, were excited to sign up for the trip, according to Dick.

The trip is a win-win for both the children and the pets, as it gives the animals a chance to socialize.

"The kids started coming around last spring as just sort of a pilot program to read to the animals," said Humane Educator Lauren Watson. "What I love about it is the kids get something out of it and the animals get something out of it too."