I must say that my TV commercial debut for the Listening Ears Program at the VBSPCA went very well. My wonderful dad took me and I could tell it was going to be fun because he put my personalized LL Bean tote bag in the car. It smelled of several different treats and a couple of my favorite toys were in there too. When we arrived at the "studio" I saw my dad hand some of my treats to an awesome little boy who was there also. The little boy then sat in a chair at a table and read aloud from a book. Dad told me to "down" and then "stay." Then I could hear a video camera rolling but I knew not to move. If I could just be patient, I would get those treats from that boy. So I did! It was an Oscar winning performance!
About the Listening Ears Program which was developed by the VBSPCA:
The Listening Ears program is designed to help both new and reluctant readers develop their reading skills. The premise of the program is that reading to an animal can create a more relaxing and less threatening atmosphere for children who find reading challenging. In addition, reading to a furry friend creates a non-judgmental and fun atmosphere for most children, and helps send the message that reading can be an enjoyable and worthwhile activity.
Reading aloud can be a challenge for children who lack confidence in their ability to read. Often, children are capable of reading, but self-consciousness and concern for adult or peer approval can cause stress, making it difficult for some to read. However, studies show that when children read to an animal, they relax, forget about external influences, and begin to enjoy reading. Often, animals are seen by children as trust-worthy and compassionate, allowing for a positive and open interaction.
This award winning program is offered in many schools in our area and is staffed mainly by our awesome volunteers.