Traverse City Record-Eagle

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April 13, 2014

Kids can read to furry friend at Suttons Bay library

TRAVERSE CITY — Children in Suttons Bay will have a new buddy to read to at the Suttons Bay Bingham District Library this month.

His name is Wilson, and he doesn’t mind if you stutter or mispronounce a word.

Wilson and his owner Sarah Schultz are a certified therapy dog team. The pair worked primarily in nursing homes in their old home of Raleigh, N.C., but Schultz wanted to focus on children when she moved to Suttons Bay in September.

Schultz pitched her idea to library officials, and they agreed to give it a try. The first reading session with Wilson will be April 19 from noon to 1 p.m. Children of all ages can sign up for 15- or 20-minute one-on-one reading sessions.

The idea behind the program is twofold.

“One, it just adds something more fun to reading. It makes reading more exciting,” Schultz said. “Two, it’s a low-stress environment for students who either struggle with reading or have self-esteem issues with reading out loud.”

Schultz hopes to be able to offer the program once a month, but it all depends on how much interest there is in the community.

“It’s the first session, so we’ll see how it goes,” she said. “This is the first time I’ve spearheaded something like this. I hope the response is good.”

Stop by the library at 416 Front Street in Suttons Bay or call 231-271-3512 for more information or to sign up.

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