Children read to shelter cats in new Kitty Reading Enrichment Program

A girl reads her book out loud next to a cat at the Jackson County Animal Shelter in Central Point (Jennevieve Fong / News 10)

While reading is already useful for kids, the Jackson County Animal Shelter said sharing the story with cats is even more beneficial.

A group of about 20 local children, from first to eighth grade, visited the shelter for the first-ever Kitty Reading Enrichment Program event.

The kids were able to improve their reading skills, while also helping the shelter cats by providing socialization and human interaction.

Talent Elementary School teacher and reading specialist Sara Burt said the animals find the rhythmic sound of the reading comforting.

"This kind of joins my two big passions which are reading and cats," Burt said. "The more they hear children's voices, the more they're used to being around kids and that makes them a better candidate for adoption to a family."

Burt said some families are not allowed to have cats in their own homes and apartments, so the program provides some children with an opportunity to interact with animals, as they normally would not.

The shelter said they plan on hosting this event every month, with the next reading happening on Mar. 3.

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