We are extremely excited to announce the arrival of a brand new programme for our libraries — Read to Kurī! Thanks to our friends at Canine Friends Pet Therapy, every Thursday afternoon during the upcoming school holidays, some very special therapy dogs from Canine Friends Pet Therapy will be joining us at Kilbirnie Library. You’ll be able to book in a time to come and meet our very good doggo friends and read to them aloud.
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 three talented pooches join us for Read to Kurī at Kilbirnie Library during the holidays. Read on to find out a little bit more about each dog!
Kurī 1: Topaz
Handler: Suze Hocking
Topaz is a nine-year-old Keeshond (Dutch Barge Dog). She’s a lot smaller than you’d think under all that fur!
She loves treats and swimming at the beach, and always brings home lots of sand!
She’s gentle and patient and loves hanging out with people — that’s why dogs of this breed are often known as ‘Velcro dogs’ — they just love to stick to people!
Topaz and her handler, Suze, have been with Canine Friends for about six months. Before that, Topaz spent some time as a support dog for Wellington Free Ambulance.
Suze and Topaz will be at Kilbirnie Library from 12.00 – 1.00pm on Thursday 28 September.
Kurī 2: Zibu
Handler: Xanthia Free
Zibu is a Cavapoochon breed, which is a mix of King Charles Cavalier, Miniature poodle, and Bichon Frisé. Her particular breed is often used in the USA and Australia as a companion animal.
Zibu and her handler, Xanthia, very much enjoy their Canine Friends therapy sessions and specialise in interacting with students at universities and schools, particularly assisting those who may have a fear of canines.
Zibu has a very sweet nature, loves chasing her ball and her frisbee, and is best friends with Xanthia’s male cat, Tigga.
Xanthia and Zibu will be at Kilbirnie Library from 12.00 – 1.00pm on Thursday 28 September and Thursday 5 October.
Kurī 3: Archie
Handler: Penny Griffith
“My name is Archie and I am six years old. I absolutely love people, and especially children!
I am a Schnoodle — my mummy is a Schnauzer and my daddy is a Poodle.
I think I will be very good at listening to children reading me stories… maybe they can even teach me how to read!”
Penny and Archie will be at Kilbirnie Library from 12.00 – 1.00pm on Thursday 5 October.
Spaces for Read to Kurī are strictly limited, so make sure you register early to guarantee your spot!