RAFORD—Sitting cross-legged on a plump and colorful rug in a cozy classroom, Elyza Farrera is reading to Neville.

Farrera is a first-grader at McHarg Elementary School and Neville is a three-and-a-half-year-old Russell terrier. Farrera is pointing to the pictures and explaining them. Neville listens companionably with his chin on his paws.

McHarg first-graders Elyza Farrera Gonzalez (left photo) and Kayden Brown, both first graders at McHarg Elementary School are delighted to read with Neville, the Russell terrier who is a trained therapy animal. Reading to animals programs are happening in schools and libraries, giving children an opportunity for reading time with a companionable reading partner and good listener.

McHarg teacher Kelly Wheeler, who works with first graders like Farrera in reading at the elementary school, introduced a read-to-a-dog program in March, and…

Click here to read full article