SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Kids just learning to read, practicing their reading skills, or simply wanting an audience can visit Smith– the therapy golden retriever.
Jane Izard, Smith's handler and one of the library's volunteers, looks forward to each Wednesday. She said, "I saw them just start off with these shy, timid readers." She noticed the kids growing in their reading abilities with each session. "...they can read in front of an entire crowd," Izard added.
Parents have also noticed their children opening up with Smith.
Jamie Cervantes, who enrolled her daughter in the program, said, "I have noticed how excited she is to read to Smith. She likes when he's listening to her stories, and she definitely reads more in an animated way when she's reading into him rather than to just herself."
From helping kids pick out the perfect book, to resting on their lap as they read, Smith provides support and comfort to all young readers.
Sign-ups are a first come, first serve basis. Sign up at the library to book a 10-15 minute reading session.