How did 7-year-old Colby Procvk learn to love reading? You have to give credit to a program called Book Buddies by the Animal Rescue League of Berks County in Pennsylvania. Around 30 kids are matched up each week with cats waiting to be adopted.
For children like Colby, who used to be uneasy reading in front of others, it’s a chance to practice his skills without any added pressure. He even ended up winning an award for “most improved student.” His teacher Nicole Gonzalez shares, “I’ve seen a big growth in his reading ability and his confidence.”
Program coordinator and volunteer Kristi Rodriguez says it’s good for the cats too: “It doesn’t matter to them [the cats] what the book is about, how well the child is reading to them or anything like that. They just love the one-on-one contact that the kids provide.” Book Buddies is certainly a win-win for kids like Colby and the cats. And Colby’s mom is happy that her son is “more inclined to read now.”