You may be wondering why reading to cats seems like a good idea, but one Pennsylvania shelter has taken the idea and run with it -- to the tune of success.
The Animal Rescue League of Berks County in Birdsboro, Pennsylvania, fired up a new program in August 2013 that they call " Book Buddies." Beth Ireland, the director of marketing for the shelter, tells HLN the program is offered to children in first- through eighth-grade who can read at any level, and it asks them to come to their open adoption room -- where cats are allowed to roam freely -- and read them a story.
The idea is to help the kids with their reading skills, as well as provide company for the shelter animals. Students can also complete "book tickets" by reading five books to an animal. After they get the ticket, they can turn it in to the shelter for a prize.
Ireland says Kristi Rodriguez, the shelter's program coordinator, came up with the idea as a pitch for school to help get kids involved in volunteering. She says a lot of kids that are homeschooled come to the shelter to read to the kitties.
"The kids are excited," she tells HLN. "They want to come in."
And what do the cats think of all this?
"The cats love it! They're all over the kids that read to them!" Ireland says.
For now, Ireland says the program is just for cats because dogs are more excitable. But the cats seem pretty content to just chill out and listen to a story (or the sound of it, anyway).
Good timing on the start of Random Acts of Kindness week, guys.