Kicking the reading summer slump, kids read to kittens in Franklin

This Company Has Two Adorable Office Kittens Named Debit And Credit
Posted at 7:41 PM, Jul 29, 2022

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — The summer slide is real. And all parents know getting kids to read on summer break to combat learning loss can be tough. But the Williamson County Animal Center is providing the perfect solution.

It's not the sound one expects to hear in an animal shelter — barking and meowing replaced by little voices reading along to classics like Dr. Seuss.

"They know you're there. They just don't exactly want anything to do with you sometimes," says one young reader.

Each day kids find their way to the shelter as part of the Book Buddies program. It invites kids and cats to get cozy and enjoy a few chapters. There aren't many rules.

"You just come into the room and read, and you just make a bond with them," another reader told NewsChannel 5's Carrie Sharp.

Scott Pieper with the Williamson County Animal Center was glad to see the Book Buddies program return when the shelter opened its new facility in February, saying it's a win-win for all involved.

"Our cats get socialized when the kids come in and read to them and then we also get to fulfill an education piece."

Volunteer readers are welcome every day of the week at the Williamson County Animal Center, but you do need to attend an orientation first.

Visit the WCAC site to learn more.