Lewes library welcomes L.E.A.P. dogs

Gathered at the Lewes Public Library are L.E.A.P Program team members and young readers (l-r) Judy Henriksen, second-grader Logan Serpico, first-grader Sienna Serpico, Jackie Rifenbergh and Arline Fleischer with L.E.A.P. therapy dogs Riley, Luca and Penny. SOURCE SUBMITTED
March 15, 2014

The Lewes Public Library has really gone to the dogs. The L.E.A.P Program at the library has added three new teams of owners and their specially trained dogs who love to listen to young readers. Kathleen Greene and Koko, Susan Keyser and Flyer, and Peter Strub and Henry have joined the group.

L.E.A.P. stands for Literacy Education Assistance Pups. Each team consists of one owner and one therapy dog. All teams have successfully completed at least six weeks of obedience training and temperament testing. The purpose of the program is to provide an accepting, nonjudgmental environment in which children can practice and improve their literacy skills.

Results from the National Institute for Literacy show that children who participate in programs such as the L.E.A.P Program improve their grades, test scores, and reading skills. And, they are able to do so while having fun.

One parent recently said, "My child is not interested in reading at home, but we come to the library, and she will sit and read for a full hour in front of the dogs."

"Thank you so much for your wonderful program. My daughter was really struggling with reading in the first grade, so we tried the program at the library. She is now in the second grade, and tests show she is reading on a third-grade level already," said another.

"My 5-year-old son was terrified of dogs. I took him to the L.E.A.P. program at the library and now, not only is he reading well to head into first grade, he loves to sit up against Mackey (chocolate lab retriever) while he reads!" said a third.

The Lewes Public Library hosts the L.E.A.P Program from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., every Monday in the small meeting room on the second floor. The library provides age-appropriate books, or children can bring their own.

For more information, call the library at 302-645-2733.


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