In 2013, at the Animal Rescue League in Pennsylvania, USA, a staff member's little boy began reading to the shelter's cats. It provided such wonderful benefits to both the child and the cats, it became the launching pad of the now-popular Book Buddies program!

A passing thought about reading to cats as a way to help a child improve their reading skills has become an incredibly popular and wonderful initiative for the shelter cats at the Animal Rescue League of Berks County in Pennsylvania, USA.

Children reading stories to cats

The Book Buddies program involves children in grades 1-8 of any reading level to come to the shelter and read to the animals. It's a wonderful way of helping children to develop confidence in their reading skills, including out loud, and also offers human interaction for the cats.

According to The Animal Rescue League of Berks County's website: "Cats find the rhythmic sound of a voice very comforting and soothing. Children can read in a non-judgmental environment and find support and comfort with the cats."

Whilst some cats obviously prefer having fun and sitting on the books instead of listening, others sit attentively or wander around while they are being read to.

We think this is an incredible initiative for the local community, on so many levels, and hope other shelters consider offering the same opportunity to the next generation in their area.

Take a look at the beautiful images below. Our hearts are simply melting!

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Does your local animal shelter offer a similar type of program?

Source & photo credits: Animal Rescue League of Berks County

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