Practice Reading and Make a New Friend
Published on Sunday, April 28, 2013 - 10:33am
Once a month at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, dogs and their owners from People Animals Love (PAL) come to help children practice their reading skills through the Read to a Four-Legged Friend program. PAL was founded by veterinarian Dr. Earl Strimple, who frequently saw the positive relationships that take place between animals and humans. PAL has grown from a program that began in 1982 aiding grieving individuals to one that serves humans in a variety of situations, from prisons to nursing homes. Although PAL volunteers have been to Martin Luther King Jr. Library to participate in programs through Adaptive Services, the summer of 2012 was the beginning of a consistent program with the children’s department.
Daisy and her owner/friend Ann Ingram helped to initiate the Read to a Four-Legged Friend program last year at Martin Luther King Jr. Library.
Ann adopted Daisy, an eight-year old Great Dane, two years ago. Together they average one visit per week to various sites, including Iona Senior Citizens Center and Temple Sinai Nursery School. Daisy, who lives in Ward 3 in Washington, D.C., has also been known to help relieve stress for University of Maryland first-year students and Howard University Law School students.
Daisy's height can be a little intimidating at first; she thinks she is small according to Ann. But once you get to know her, you will learn that she loves people of all ages and sizes. Daisy is truly a gentle dog and she loves any book, too. For her latest adventure at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, she was treated to one of the Magic Tree House series books and an easy reader about Batman.