Morrisville Elementary School (MES) Kindergarten and 2nd grade “Buddies” visited North Country Animal League last Friday to read to the animals and bring donations from their school-wide supply drive. In November, Tracy and Buddy (the Jack Russell) visited the MES Buddies program in the classroom to share the needs of homeless animals and ways in which they could make a positive difference for those at NCAL.

After their meeting, MES students were inspired to organize a school-wide supply drive to benefit their new furry friends. Upon arrival on Friday, MES Buddies were beaming with pride to present the toys, treats, brushes, and leashes they collected on behalf of NCAL. The purpose of our Buddies visit was not only to deliver their supplies, but to read to our adoptable dogs and cats. Students split up in small groups and spent time reading to the dogs, puppies, cats and kittens. The animals enjoyed the special attention they received from the Buddies.

Other shelters have begun implementing reading programs with children as a means to help socialize shy shelter animals and make them more adoptable, while inspiring young readers. NCAL has received funding from the Vermont Community Foundation’s Small & Inspiring grant program to start it’s own Reading Buddies program, which will launch in March 2017. The NCAL Reading Buddies Program seeks to foster the further socialization of our animals, as well as provide a unique way for children to harness and develop their reading skills.

We wish to thank Morrisville Elementary School and the students who collected donations and came to read to our animals! We hope you come back to visit (and read) soon!