Rescue Readers brings together elementary/middle school students and AWS resident pets for a half hour of literary-based confidence building. Reading aloud forms a special bond between student and pet. It provides enrichment and positive socialization for the animal, it boosts confidence in children, and it gives students a safe space to build a positive association with reading. Students have access to special reading materials and receive reading comprehension guidance from our Humane Educator, as needed.
Students must become Certified Rescue Readers to read to the animals. To become Certified, all students and their parents should fill out this form in advance and complete an orientation, scheduled with Humane Educator Brie Roche, usually on Thursday afternoons. During the orientation, students will get an overview of the reading program and learn basic body language for both cats and dogs so they can make the most of their time as a rescue reader. After completing the orientation, students will receive a certified badge, which they must wear when they drop in to read. After orientation, students (and their parents) are welcome to stop by during any of the drop in sessions, listed below. You do not need to register for individual sessions.
*Rescue Readers follows the RSU21 School Calendar. We do not hold Rescue Readers on snow days or holidays.*
Rescue Readers is a free program open to all students. We gratefully accept donations to support this program, including new books. Our Humane Educator has curated a special list of books for this program that share the same messages of empathy and kindness to animals (and each other!) that are pivotal to the Youth Program’s humane education mission. Community members interested in contributing to the program by purchasing books can visits our dedicated Rescue Readers Amazon Wish List or contact Kerrie Leclair at (207) 985-3244 ext. 123. All books will have a small plaque on the inside cover with the donor’s name.