Reading therapy dogs return to library

The Watertown Free Public Library is reinstating the popular Dog BONES reading program, in which kids read to certified therapy dogs to improve their literacy skills. The nonprofit Dogs Building Opportunities for Nurturing and Emotional Support network provides therapeutic contact with trained affectionate and obedient canines at schools, hospitals, and other organizations. In Watertown, early and struggling independent readers from kindergarten through fifth grade can read aloud for 15 minutes to the dogs, who help create a supportive environment for kids to practice their skills. A Watertown library newsletter said the reduced anxiety leads to better reading fluency, and improved confidence in the young readers. Registration is required for the program and begins two weeks prior to the event; the next Dog BONES session is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Sept. 19. Visit the library’s children’s room at 123 Main St. or call 617-972-6435 to register. For upcoming dates, check the library’s event calendar at www.watertownlib.org.