BARKS and a book swap

Published 7:17 pm Saturday, January 21, 2017

Therapy dogs and bookworms will be featured at a special event at Pioneer Elementary School this Tuesday that is open to the community.

Rather than just read to their parents and take Accelerated Reader tests, students will be able to read to therapy dogs from the Suffolk Humane Society’s BARKS — Books And Reading for Kids in Suffolk — program.

“This is one of the things we planned along with our PTA meeting,” said Renee Russell, a reading specialist at Pioneer Elementary. “We thought it would get the parents here and get the kids here.”

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Unlike people, therapy dogs are non-judgmental, and reading aloud to them helps young readers build their skill and confidence, Russell said.

Young people also will be able to participate in a book swap. They can bring up to five gently used books and trade them for the same number of books from the supply brought in by others. The school will add some extras, Russell said.

Furthermore, the Suffolk Public Library will be on hand doing registrations for library cards, Russell said.

The program begins at 6 p.m. The school is located at 150 Pioneer Road.