The Pages for Pets program aims to get Berks County children reading for a cause this summer.
From June 19 through July 28, youth who attend libraries throughout the county will be asked to start logging the minutes they read with a goal of attaining a total of 500,000 minutes countywide. If the children put in the work, the Reading Library District will fund the adoption fee of a pet from the Animal Rescue League of Berks County in Cumru Township.
“We are going to update our numbers every Monday,” said Marissa Guidara, youth services consultant for the Reading Library District. “If you go into the library, they are going to have a tracking poster that they will update once a week and we’ll also have that up on the website as well so kids can kind of see the progress we are making together.”
Guidara said she had the idea for the program in mind for a while.
“Our community is very animal-loving, and I always sort of wanted to tap into that,” she said. “This program gives an opportunity for the libraries to collaborate and work together.
“I also just wanted to tap into empowering the children as advocates. This will sort of be the first time some of the kids will feel that empowerment that the things that they do, when they work together, can help make a difference.”
The ARL will announce which pet got adopted as a result of the children’s efforts on Aug. 1.
There are 25 Reading Library District — a state designation — locations throughout Berks. They include the 23 locations of the Berks County Public Libraries System as well as the independent Wyomissing Public Library and Oley Valley Community Library.
In addition to Pages for Pets, each of the locations will be hosting their own summer learning programs, with a full schedule of free activities.
In 2013 the ARL launched its Book Buddies program where students could sharpen their reading skills by coming into the shelter to read books aloud to the cats. It went viral and even earned a Berks teen acknowledgement from a state education organization.
José Joel Delgado-Rivera, the ARL’s chief communications officer, said a modified version of the program had been relaunched last summer.
“We encourage families to bring their own books and bring something that the kids will be comfortable reading to the animals,” said Alison Kleinsmith, communications and development specialist at the ARL. “And just know that that program can count toward the minutes for the reading program as well. So I would encourage families to bring along their reading logs.”
Source: Berkshire mont