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Press Releases

Published on: September 21, 2009

New Children’s Program at the Pratt!


Dogs aren’t only man’s best friend, they are amazing listeners

 – It’s going to be a Dog Day afternoon at the Enoch Pratt Free Library.  Lovable pups that enjoy listening to a good story are part of the Pratt Library’s newest children’s program, PAWS to Read.

Beginning Saturday, September 26, 2pm
Central Library Children’s Department
400 Cathedral Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

PAWS to Read  is a very simple concept. Children read to certified Pets on Wheels volunteer dogs.  The dogs listen and do not tease, laugh or judge the child. PAWS to Read encourages literacy skills of children in a positive, non-threatening, fun and educational environment. 

“When it comes to reading, practice is a critical piece of the puzzle because practice improves fluency,” said Ellen Riordan, Pratt’s Children’s Services Coordinator. “Reading out loud is hard for some kids who may be a little self conscious about their emerging reading skills. Reading to a dog is a fun way to practice. They never correct your pronunciation!”

The Pratt’s PAWS to Read program will run once a month beginning at the Central Library on Saturday, September 26 and once a month at the Southeast Anchor Library beginning Saturday, November 4.

 “Children will be so encouraged to read especially when they are rewarded with these warm brown eyes and doggy grins,” said Carla D. Hayden, Chief Executive Officer. It will make such a difference in their reading experience.”

All volunteer dogs are certified by Pets on Wheels. The dogs have passed temperament training and are up-to-date with their shots and vaccines.

For more information and a complete schedule of the Pratt’s PAWS to Read program, visit our website at Also look for the Pratt Library on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.

Remember at the Enoch Pratt Free Library:  “ Your journey starts here.”


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