Once a month, the Fort Myers Beach Library has been offering a Reading program that goes straight to the dogs.
That is when Cape Coral resident and dog handler Nick Christy brings over his therapy dog named Bo, a retriever/lab mix, who has a knack for encouraging children to read.
The literary program is entitled "Dog Day" and takes place in the designated Kid's Place room on the first floor.
Participating children are happy to see Bo, who is very patient in listening to each toddler read and show him pictures. In turn, Christy is close by to help with pronunciation of words and overall reading skills.
"Every one of the children needs assistance with reading," said Dr. Leroy Hommerding, the library director.
One such group of children who frequent Dog Day is "Leap of Faith," the relatively new St. Raphael's Episcopal Church after-school program comprised of seven children. Director Debbie Dunlap is excited to be completing a successful year with the new church family.
"We have been able to meet the needs of our after-schoolers and expand our program to include a new parent and child playgroup called 'LeapFrogs'," she said. "Our intent is to prepare children for entering preschool as well as voluntary pre-kindergarden so that they will be successful right from the start of their school experience."
Dunlap welcomes children ages 2-5 to the bi-weekly sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 to 11 a.m.
"Our basic routine is focused on child-centered activities such as cooking, painting, building and music," said Dunlap. "We are able to help the children explore new and different ways of communicating with each other via sign language, artwork, Spanish and creative movement." She can be reached at 677-7017 for more information.
Dog Day will happen again this Thursday (May 16) for those youngsters who would like to come and meet Bo and read to him. Give him a chance, and you may learn something.