SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Thursday was Read America Day, and for the first time in history Liberty County Animal Control participated by reading books to students at Taylors Creek Elementary School.
Liberty County Animal Services Ambassador Dogs Willie, Trixie and Toby served alongside Principal Steve Marrero, Vice Principal Melody Allington and Officer Branchard while reading to Kindergarten and 5th grade students.
“We had two teachers who actually adopted dogs from us and one of our staff, her kids go there, so we thought it was perfect,” Marrero said.
He continued: “We all had different books that we read and we read all through school, so we were there from 9 to about 1, which is the last class. They also went to individual classes.”
According to Marrero, there were fun and enjoyable moments during their stay, including several children overcoming their fear of dogs.
“There were a few students who had never touched animals before and were scared, and they got over their fear, which was cool,” Marrero said.
Read Across America is the nation’s largest celebration of reading. This year-round program aims to motivate children and teenagers to read through activities, partnerships and reading resources dedicated to everyone and for everyone.
However, later that day, Liberty County Animal Control took it even further.
“In the afternoon, we had our homeschoolers read to our dogs,” Marrero said.
In accordance with Country veterinary clinicmany studies have shown that reading to dogs is a great way to improve self-confidence and public speaking skills.
The clinic says it’s because it provides an opportunity to speak out loud, but without the judgment of human company.
As for whether they will continue to participate in Read Across America in the future, Marrero said, “It’s definitely been a great success.”
The mission of Liberty County Animal Services is to balance the health, safety and welfare needs of people and animals in Liberty County.