Families: Learning Corner: Listen, Spot

A therapy dog can be a shy young reader's best friend

Sprawled on the floor, Daisy, a dark-eyed 7-year-old, reads aloud: "Chas smiled proudly. 'This is your lucky day,' he said.'" Her audience of one yawns and leans against Daisy's leg; Daisy reaches down to scratch the listener's ear. Mojo, a black Labrador retriever, sighs and settles in. It's the weekly meeting of the America Reads program in Santa Monica, Calif., which uses dogs to encourage kids to explore the world of books. After the session, Daisy tells a visitor that she likes reading to dogs because "they just sit and listen. They're calm."

Animal-assisted therapy, in which specially trained animals visit...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!