Niobrara County Kids Read to a Special Buddy

Jun 14, 2024

A school-aged child with blond hair reads a book to a large, black dog lying on a looped rug.

A young NCL patron reads a favorite book to Delilah.

Young Niobrara County Library patrons have a weekly opportunity during the summer to practice reading aloud to a unique reading buddy–a dog named Delilah.

This arrangement is mutually beneficial to both canines and kids. “Our hope is that we are fostering reading confidence as the children read out loud,” said Debbie. “And Delilah enjoys the children reading stories to her.” Oral reading is widely known to help kids develop their reading comprehension and fluency, and what better way to fight the summer slide* than read a great book to an adoring, furry friend?

“The program started out as ‘Read with Olivia,'” said Debbie Sturman, director of the Niobrara County Library. Since the program’s inception in 2019 with a generous library foundation member willing to bring her dog to the library each week during the summer months, several caring canines have served in this role as “reading buddy” over the past five years, with Delilah currently holding this position of honor at the NCL.

“We have anywhere from four to eight children of varying ages who enjoy this weekly reading time with Delilah,” said Debbie.

The Niobrara County Library has many summer activities planned for patrons of all ages. Check out their calendar for more information.

*learning loss during the summer months

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