Books and man's best friend: The local literacy program that's gone to the dogs

MILWAUKEE -- A four-legged literacy initiative is hoping to get kids excited about reading! Cassie Capriotti with the Bay View Community Center joins Real Milwaukee to tell us all about "Stories for Spike."

About Stories for Spike

Stories for Spike is a NEW community literacy initiative striving to engage young readers by creating excitement around the act of reading! This partnership between the Bay View Community Center and Team Hawkeye, a Bay View based animal advocacy group, pairs emerging readers with a canine reading buddy. Named for Spike, a loveable dog who has since passed away, Stories for Spike seeks to raise awareness of the value animals can play as partners in a child`s learning and development as well as expose children to proper dog etiquette while breaking down breed stereotypes. This initiative fits within the Bay View Community Center`s slate of family literacy programming which includes: One-On-One Tutoring, Intergenerational Story Club, and Family Language Lab.

At each event, participants will hear an animal focused story time lead by a local personality (and dog lover) followed by the opportunity to read one on one aloud to a dog with the support of an experienced reading tutor. Through the use of canine reading buddies, we seek to provide an experience that allows participants to practice their literacy skills in a way that feels fun and pressure and judgement free. The tutors are available to act as guides and to provide coaching as needed. Each participant (up to the first 12 per event) will also receive a book to take home so they can continue their practice! Snacks provided. RSVPS encouraged for those wanting one on one time with a canine reading buddy to ensure availability. Story Time however, is open to all and walk-ins are encouraged.