Program offers opportunity to read to a dog or cat

To encourage literary skills in children, certified therapy dogs and cats will be available to read to at the Margaret E. Heggan Free Public Library

The Margaret E. Heggan Free Public Library is pleased to offer children the opportunity to read to a dog or cat while improving reading skills and confidence through a program called S.M.I.L.E. (Silent Mentors in Literacy Education).

Certified therapy dogs and cats, provided by FURever as Friends, will be in the library from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the first and third Thursday of each month. Children can sign up to come to the library and read to one or more of these animals.

The goal of the S.M.I.L.E. program is to improve, encourage, and nurture the literacy skills of children with the help of certified therapy pets. A child who has reading difficulties or is hesitant to read aloud may find it more relaxing and less stressful reading to a pet because pets don’t judge, criticize, or correct.

FURever as Friends is a non-profit organization of dedicated volunteers based in Gloucester County who love giving back to the community with the help of certified pets, and enhancing the bond between people and pets.

This program is open to children of all ages. Please call or visit the library to reserve your child’s slot.

The Margaret E. Heggan Free Public Library is located at 606 Delsea Drive, Sewell. Please call (856) 589–3334 or visit www.hegganlibrary.org for more information.