As an extra fun incentive for the kids, the library where Landon works provides each dog with personal "calling cards" that contain the dog's name, photo, and fun facts about the dog. Once a child finishes reading a book, they receive the dog's card. This encourages the kids to read multiple books (to multiple dogs), so that they can collect more cards.
Most of the children in the program are between 5 and 9 years old, but sometimes they are even younger. Even though the very young ones cannot read yet, they like to look at the illustrations in the books and tell their own stories. Some of their stories are even more elaborate than the written stories.
For each reading session, the library workers select an assortment of books for the children to choose from, and then each child selects a book from the group. The child then walks over to an available dog, introduces him/herself, and pets the dog. It is quite adorable. The dogs' handlers assist the children with difficult words and give them encouragement. The kids' parents seem to enjoy watching the entire process. Recently, one child's mother mentioned that at home, her 6-year-old daughter always seems to find an excuse not to practice reading, but she loves to come to the library to read to the dogs. Even better, the program has improved the child's reading.
Landon's own book, "Landon Loves Life" is being launched this summer, and it may even be carried at the library where he works. That would give children the chance to actually read to the real-life star of the book. How exciting that would be!