A week for literacy

Bill Hall and a therapy dog, K-9 Hawk, listened to children read Wednesday for the PAWS for Reading event at the Clinton Public Library. The event was one of many events put on as part of Drop Everything and Read, from April 6 to 12. 

CLINTON — The Clinton Public Library gave children the opportunity to read to therapy dogs as part of Drop Everything and Read Week. 

Two canine dogs, Hawk and Deker, were present with their handlers, Bill and Lois Hall, to offer children a chance to read to therapy dogs for 10 minutes at a time on Wednesday. The therapy dogs are also canine dogs for the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office. They have obtained certification in many areas, including search and rescue, and have worked with several organizations, such as Hope Lodge and the Ronald McDonald House. 

It is one of many events put on by many Clinton organizations, specifically United Way. The goal of the event is to promote reading so children are able to read by the time they reach third grade.  

Other events put on during the week include a YWCA read-in on Monday and celebrity readers reading to elementary school students on Tuesday. These readers included LumberKing players, firemen, policemen and Shocko the Clown.  

There are also events scheduled for the weekend, with an event at the Ericksen Center incorporating sports before taking them to the satellite library to check out a book to read on Sunday. Assistant Director and Cataloger Beth Mosher thinks this is an event that encourages children to read. 

“We like for them (the children) to come and get excited,” Mosher said. “We want for them to take some books home with them. The kids seem to love reading to the dogs.”

This PAWS event, which occurs periodically throughout the year, is not exclusive to Drop Everything and Read Week. It is one of many programs the library offers to attempt to encourage kids to be able to read. According to Mosher, they have weekly programming aimed at getting children as well as teenagers involved in reading. They have story time for preschool kids and have an hour and a half dedicated each week to promoting reading. They have teen programming on Wednesdays in an attempt to encourage teenagers to read. 

The library also promotes activities that are not directly correlated to reading. They have a video game event, with the hope of this to get the kids to come and have fun but also to leave with a book to encourage reading, which Mosher sees as extremely important. 

“I think it’s (reading) crucial for all of their subjects,” Mosher said. “It’s not just for fun. They need to know how to read to work no matter what job they have when they grow up.” 

Herald Staff Writer John Rohlf can be reached at jrohlf@clintonherald.com.

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