PRESS PHOTOS BY TIM GILMANJonah Bittner poses with dog owner Joyce Snead of Coopersburg and her mixed breed therapy dog Boomer for a photo by his mother, Rita Bittner, during the Read to Dogs.
Andrew Hutchinson reads a to a poodle as his mother, Cheryl, takes pictures. Therapy poodle “Bella” is with her owner Bev Craul of Lower Saucon Township.
Noah Stanbaugh reads to a golden doodle therapy dog soothed by owner Marie Robinson of Bethlehem. The young Bethlehem resident was attending the canine event with his grandmother June Schunacher, who said it was Noah’s second time.
Violet Frank reads to therapy poodle “Bella” as owner Bev Crawl of Lower Saucon Township watches. Violet was attending the event for her first time according to her mother, Danielle Frank of Bethlehem. More photos on A2.
PRESS PHOTOS BY TIM GILMANBeverly Raymond’s bassett hound patiently listens to a book being read by Javien Cortes, who was participating for the first time, according to his mother, Amber Cortes of Bethlehem.
LEFT: Barbara Temarantz of Bethlehem holds her therapy terrier dog “Charlie,” while listening to Brenden Finnegan read. “He enjoys it and loves dogs,” said Kathy Lopez of Bethlehem who was accompanying her grandson Brenden.
Dog tales wag tails
Children read aloud to canines at the library
A Read to Dogs program attracted 25 children to the June 26 session at the main branch of the Bethlehem Area Public Library on Church Street. The young readers are paired with gentle and attentive trained therapy dogs during four 15-minute sessions.
Six canines and their local owners showed up for the special event, which has been offered by the library for 10 years, according to Pat Mickowski of Bethlehem, local community coordinator for the program.
“Sometimes we have as many as 10 therapy dogs and their owners,” said Mickowski, who participates with her Sanders black poodle .
“It’s an unusual experience for children to read aloud to dogs. It encourages them to read for fun, while not being tested,” said Karen Zarelli, youth services assistant at the main library. The event takes place in the new Youth Library on the second floor.
The third and final summer session of the Read to Dogs program will be held Aug. 9 from 11 a.m. to noon. Advance registration is required for the free activity. The 11 W. Church St. Main Library contact is 610-867-3761, ext. 499 or www.bapl.org.