“I’d heard about some experiments overseas,“ said RSPCA Qld’s Wacol Care Centre Manager Nanda Ten-Grotenhuis. “But I never realised just how positive an experience it would be for animals as well as children.”
That sentiment is echoed by Kindergo’s product manager Amy Parry. Kindergo has partnered with the RSPCA in the experiment and the company produce interactive books that allow students to read independently.
“For young readers, one of the big challenges in learning to read is the embarrassment of making mistakes. Reading to shelter pets offers a simple solution. It provides a non-judgmental, comforting furry friend who "listens" and takes the pressure off a child if they stumble." says Parry.
"Studies of “Read to Pet” programs conclude that the benefits to early readers are many. These include increased relaxation and confidence, reduced blood pressure and a non-judgemental, safe environment in which to practice reading. The silent companionship of a dog as a reading partner allows the child to work at their own pace through reading challenges without fear of being judged - helping to overcome anxieties and motivation roadblocks.”
“It really helps our dogs relax,” continued Ms Ten- Grotenhuis. “Many of them have had little or no contact with children and a shelter can often be quite a stressful environment for them. So to be able to have a child, with a soft voice, interacting and reading helps them feel more at ease. If they nod off we think it’s been a success! We’re very open to continuing the program next year”
Developed by an award-winning children’s entertainment company, Kindergo is a children’s storytelling app offering high quality, curated books. Adventuring through a beautifully designed storybook world with their customizable Avatar, children can read, listen, watch, and play in a safe and encouraging environment.
Kindergo is free and can be downloaded from the App Store for iPhone or iPad.
Find out more about the Reading to Shelter Pets Program here.
Learn more about Kindergo here.