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      Kids read to dogs at library

      VENETA, Ore. - The audience for story time at the Fern Ridge Library this week had better than average hearing.

      Once a month, kids get the chance to read to 4-legged friends as part of the READ program: Reading Education Assistance Dog.

      By listening intently, the therapy dogs give kids an experience they may not get otherwise.

      "The dog can't criticize. That's huge," said Laura Duvall, a therapy dog handler. "The kids can just read to the dog and have a good time and not have to even think about it because the dog is not going to correct them or point out the things they do wrong. It's all just a positive experience."

      The READ program started in Utah back in 1999 and is now a worldwide program. The dogs visit the library in Veneta the last Wedneday of every month.

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