Read to Kurī comes to Johnsonville Library!

Even more good news for dog-lovers and book-lovers alike — due to the popularity of this programme at Te Awa-a-Taia | Kilbirnie Library, we will be bringing our Read to Kurī programme to Waitohi | Johnsonville Library for the rest of the term!

Every Monday after school from the 13th of November until the 11th of December, you’ll be able to book in a 15-minute slot to read to our gorgeous therapy dogs Martha, Frankie, Freja and Willow, thanks to our friends at Canine Friends Pet Therapy. Read on to learn more about Read to Kurīand how you can book your session!

Our gorgeous doggos for Read to Kurī at Johnsonville Library. From left: Martha, Freja, Willow, Frankie


What is Read to Kurī?

At Read to Kurī, you will book in for a 15-minute one-on-one reading session with one of our gorgeous doggy pals from Canine Friends Pet Therapy. You will be able to choose a book and curl up somewhere cosy in the library to read with your chosen dog. The dog’s handler will be present at all times.

Read to Kurī aims to help tamariki improve their literacy, self-confidence, and self-esteem in a relaxed, non-judgemental environment. All dogs have been trained and tested for health, safety, and temperament, and many have experience working with young children.

Research shows that therapy dogs:

  • Can increase a child’s relaxation while reading
  • Listen attentively
  • Do not laugh, judge or criticise a child’s reading level
  • Allow children to proceed at their own pace
  • Can be less intimidating to read to than a child’s peers

This programme is perfect for tamariki aged 5+ who would like to practice their reading skills while making a new canine friend at the library. Bookings are essential as spaces are limited.


Meet the Kurī

We are very lucky to have four talented pooches join us for Read to Kurī at Johnsonville Library during the term. Read on to find out a little bit more about each dog!

Kurī 1: Martha

Handler: Anna Prussing

Martha is a ten-year-old collie, with eight brothers and sisters. She’s a very gentle sweetheart!

She’s been the library and reading dog at St Theresa’s in Plimmerton, and a Canine Friend for six years.

Nothing makes her happier than being with children, hugs and snuggles, and hearing them read to her. Her favourite book is The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but she’s happy to hear anything!

Her best friend is a slinky coffee-coloured cat called Charlie who lives with her and bosses her about!

She lives in Whitby with Anna and they both love reading with children.

Anna and Martha will be at Johnsonville Library from 3.15 – 4.30pm every second Monday starting on Monday 13 November.

Book your session with Martha – November 13

Book your session with Martha – November 27

Book your session with Martha – December 11


Kurī 2: Frankie

Handler: Lincoln Hall

Frankie is an SPCA special, who is a terrier mix.

Frankie loves his time at Canine Friends, and particularly getting pats from students at universities. His specialty is having his tummy rubbed by his adoring friends!

Frankie is a sweet and quiet boy, who loves eating treats, tissues and socks. He loves people and other dogs. His best friends are his dog siblings, Harry and Minnie, and his cat siblings, Pango and Pipi.

Lincoln and Frankie will be at Johnsonville Library from 3.15 – 4.30pm every second Monday starting on Monday 13 November.

Book your session with Frankie – November 13

Book your session with Frankie – November 27

Book your session with Frankie – December 11


Kurī 3: Freja

Handler: Dairne Poole

Freja is almost 2 years old, and she is also a Golden Retriever. She is a very smiley dog who is always happy to see new people and become friends.

She is an excellent running companion and loves to go running with her handler Dairne in the hills above their house in Wadestown. She also loves playing with her friend Willow, and going to the beach to play in the surf.

Dairne and Freja will be at Johnsonville Library from 3.15 – 4.30pm every second Monday starting on Monday 13 November.

Book your session with Freja – November 20

Book your session with Freja – December 4


Kurī 4: Willow

Handler: Andrew Poole

Willow is a Golden Retriever and she is 5 years old. She is handler Dairne’s son’s dog – she joined their family when Dairne’s son was just 8 years old in 2018.

She loves pats and cuddles, chasing balls, playing with her buddy, Freja, and food. She is very gentle and kind, however if you’re a cat, she may want to chase you!

Andrew and Willow will be at Johnsonville Library from 3.15 – 4.30pm every second Monday starting on Monday 20 November.

Book your session with Willow – November 20

Book your session with Willow – December 4



Spaces for Read to Kurī are strictly limited, so make sure you register early to guarantee your spot!

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