Story Hours & Literacy Programs

Engaging books with a variety of reading levels that share the same message of empathy and kindness to animals (and each other!) that is pivotal to the Animal Welfare Society’s Humane Education mission. We offer several programs to promote literacy, animals and fun.

Furry Tales Story & Adventure Hour

Preschoolers and their families explore the exciting world of animals with stories, playtime, crafts, songs, movement and plenty of animal time. Each week is a new adventure!

Furry Tales takes place on Thursdays at 10 am, during the school year*.

No advanced registration needed. There is no charge for Furry Tales, though donations are always appreciated! You and your preschooler may want to bring a toy or item from our wish list for the animals.

* Furry Tales follows the RSU21 School Calendar. We do not hold Furry Tales on snow days, school breaks or holidays.

For more information, e-mail Brie or call 207-985-3244 ext. 109.

Rescue Readers

Rescue Readers is a brand-new reading program that 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.

Drop in hours for Certified Rescue Readers are Thursdays from 3 pm – 4:30 pm*. To become Certified, all students and their parents must complete an orientation, scheduled with Humane Educator Brie Roche, at a mutually convenient time. 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.

*Rescue Readers follows the RSU21 School Calendar. We do not hold Rescue Readers on snow days, school breaks or holidays.

Rescue Readers Interest Form
Please fill out this form to begin the Rescue Reader Certification process. After submitting this form, our Humane Educator will be in touch to schedule an orientation, which must be completed prior to reading to the animals.

Parent/Guardian's First and Last Name:



Child’s First and Last Name:

Child’s Age:

How did you hear about AWS' Youth Programs?

Participation & Enrollment Waiver:
Thank you for enrolling your child in this Animal Welfare Society Humane Education program. In accordance with section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Animal Welfare Society (AWS) invites you to identify any physical or mental disability or behavior that would preclude your child from fully participating in the program. We are committed to complying with the requirements of the Acts set forth above. In this regard, AWS, to extent required by law, will provide reasonable accommodations to participants who require them in order to participate in the program. Individuals with disabilities are not required to self-identify at any time. However, AWS is only required to provide reasonable accommodations for known disabilities. If your child needs a reasonable accommodation(s) in order to participate in our program, you must include that information with registration. AWS will make every effort to provide reasonable accommodation should your child have special needs, however, we are not able to provide one-on-one attention to your child. For the safety of and fairness to the group, if your child is unable to or refuses to fully participate in group activities, you will be called and asked to pick him/her up.

The undersigned hereby release, waive, discharge, covenant not to sue and agree to indemnify and hold harmless AWS and all its officers, trustees, agents, employees, parents and volunteers (“releasees”), whether acting officially or otherwise, for any and all loss or damage and any claim or demands therefore on account of injury to the person or property arising out of or related to the AWS Humane Education programming, whether caused by the negligence of the releasees or otherwise. The undersigned has read this release and waiver of liability, assumption of risk and indemnity agreement, fully understand its terms, understand that they have given up substantial rights by signing it, and intend their signatures to be a complete and unconditional release of all liability to the greatest extent allowed by law. The undersigned agrees to permit the free use of my child/ward’s name and picture in any broadcast, telecast or other account of the event.

Check here to accept the Participation & Enrollment Waiver