Hometown Heroes: Paws for Literacy

- Lauren and Logan love reading 'Clifford the Big Red Dog' to Annabelle the shelter dog. 

They visit Annabelle and the other animals at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay every week through the Paws for Literacy program.  They bring their favorite book, along with some doggie and kitty treats, and spend the afternoon feeding and reading to the animals waiting to be adopted.

"It's fun to get to read to the dogs and do crafts like toys for them," Lauren offered.

It's also a chance for them to practice their reading skills without any judgement.

"For them to feel comfortable and not have that pressure of reading in front of anyone else they come and read to our animals and it's really a win-win situation because our animals really need that attention," said Leslie Menichino of the Humane Society.

Anabelle and her friends love the extra treats and affection.  It also teaches them to be comfortable around kids, improving their chances for adoption.

Sometimes, reading turns into bonding and adopting.

"We've had a few Paws for Literacy children adopt some of our animals," Menichino said.

But even when forever homes aren't found, friendships are always made and confidence is built.

"To really see the confidence grow in the children and their reading progress, it's really amazing," Menichino added.

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