Newton, NC – While it’s common knowledge that canine companions can enrich people’s personal lives, it’s not as well understood that dogs can be highly beneficial in helping kids boost their reading abilities.

The library is a great believer in the support that dogs can offer kids who are challenged by reading. To help youngsters gain confidence in their skills, the library partners with local owners to bring in certified therapy dogs for regular reading sessions.

Children who read aloud to therapy dogs on a regular basis demonstrate dramatic improvement in their reading ability, thanks to the safe, non-judgmental presence of the dog.

The advantages that come with reading to a dog include:
• Sustained focus and concentration
• A higher level of awareness
• Improved attitudes toward school
• Increased reading comprehension and fluency
• Expanded use of vocabulary and language
• Greater confidence and pride in reading skills
• Higher motivation for continued reading and learning
• Positive social interactions
• Increased comfort with learning
• Greater enjoyment in reading

The library currently has therapy dogs available for sessions with elementary-aged children at our Main Library at Newton and at our Conover and St. Stephens Branch Libraries. To set up a 15-minute session, call the individual location for scheduling.

Please note that the library accepts reservations for one appointment per child per month, and appointments are available beginning the first of each month. Children can also be placed on a wait list to be called if any appointments open up during the month.

Main Library at Newton – Tuesdays, March 10, and March 24 at 4:30 pm. Call 828.465.8665 to arrange an appointment with Russ or Charlie.

Conover Branch Library – Tuesdays, March 3 and March 17 from 4:30-5:30 pm. Call 828.466.5108 to set up a time with Chester.

St. Stephens Branch Library – Mondays, March 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30 from 4-6 pm. Call 828.466.6821 for a session with Sherman.

To learn more about the Catawba County Library System and its programs, visit, call 828.465.8664, email, or visit them on Facebook.