If there was ever a match made in heaven, I’d say this is it. Rescued animals that need positive human experiences and children who want to read to them. It makes for a combo that benefits both.
The Alice Sanctuary is a non-profit organization that provides care and healing for rescued, surrendered and abandoned farm animals.
The sanctuary is a home for many sheep, pigs, goats, cows, chickens, ducks, horses, donkeys and mules.
Their Facebook page explains and states that their organization “promotes an atmosphere of compassion and empathy for all animals through advocacy, education, and inspiration. By engaging with people we hope to foster a sense of empowerment, and encourage our visitors to find the tools they need to go out and make a change in the world around them, whether it be for animals, people, the environment.”
One of their programs allows children to come in and read books to the animals. The animals and the children seem to benefit greatly. “The idea started back when one of our big Yorkshire pigs, Oliver, hurt his foot. He was on bed rest.” Volunteer Leslie Gould explains. “Pigs are very intelligent animals. Since he couldn’t move, we had to get creative with how we kept him entertained.” Story time seemed to be exactly what Oliver needed.
“The idea started back when one of our big Yorkshire pigs, Oliver, hurt his foot quite badly. He was on bed rest.” Volunteer Leslie Gould explains. “Pigs are very intelligent animals. Since he couldn’t move, we had to get creative with how we kept him entertained.” Story time seemed to be exactly what Oliver needed.
The children coming in to read have built trust, healing, and peace with the animals as reported on the sanctuary’s Facebook page.
The resident animals aren’t the only ones who benefit. As a Reading Specialist, I can say I’ve witnessed the powerful impact. Kids reading to animals builds reading confidence, fluency, comprehension. Kids who never read out loud read to an animal with none of the fear that used to exist.
This reading partnership program between animals and humans is a win/win situation for everyone.
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