PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Literacy at a young age is easy to want for your child, but a lot harder to teach. The fear of messing up a word, or not being as good as your peers are common among children learning to read. There are those who don't judge the stutters or mispronunciations. At the Portland Public Library that person happens to be a dog.
Grace the reading dog visits the library twice a month. She sits with children as they read to offer nothing more but a pair of ears to listen with. The 12-year-old Golden Retriever has been a therapy dog for four years working at Maine Medical Center and assisted living facilities. Portland Public Library's reading program is new to her, but according to owner and handler, Carla Robbins, she's already comfortable with the new gig.
"They can sleep on her, they can read to her and she's not going to judge them and she's cute," said Robbins.
Several kids have taken advantage of the new program, including 6-year-old Clara Woods who appropriately brought the book "Because of Winn Dixie" to her last session.
"Kids get to practice their reading if they're kind of too shy for it and really there's not too many people and nobody gets interrupted," said Woods.
Grace visits the Portland library the first and third Tuesday of every month from 3:30pm to 5:00pm. If you'd like to make an appointment you can contact the Children's Library at 871-1700 ext. 707 or firstname.lastname@example.org.