Whenever there’s a problem, there’s always a solution. One problem is that young children often have no incentive to read. A second problem is that stray cats waiting for adoption may not be properly socialized with humans, which reduces their chances of ever finding a good home. How do you solve these two separate and seemingly unrelated problems? You have school children read books to cats.
The Book Buddies Program was implemented by then-ARL Program Coordinator, Kristi Rodriguez. Her son, Sean, a 10 year old 5th grader, struggled with reading at school so she brought him to read to the cats. Not surprisingly, he loved it and asked to come back. Figuring that if her son liked reading to the cats, then other children would as well and that’s how the Book Buddies Program got started.
The program helps give children the incentive and encouragement to read and it gives cats a chance to meet different humans and feel comfortable and safe around them. That helps both the kids and the cats.