**Effective 3/17/2020: In an effort to help flatten the curve, the Reading with Cats Program is on paws.
Thank you for your interest in our reading program! This program is designed to help our younger supporters give back to the animals in their community while developing their reading skills and their sense of compassion. It also promotes animal-savvy behavior, and helps our cats get positive, calm time with children. Children ages 6 years through 12 years are welcome to participate in our program. (For children over 12, click here to learn about our volunteer opportunities!)
Before you begin the program, there are a few important things to know!
- One parent and one child are allowed at one time – this ensures not only direct supervision for your child around the cats, but also creates bonding time for you both!
- Each session is a maximum of 60 minutes.
- You must sign up for your session at least 24 hours ahead of time by filling out the form below.
- While we have books on site, we recommend you bring one that your child is comfortable reading.
- If an adopter is interested in the cat you are reading to, we may ask you and your child to move to allow an adoption to go forward.
- Your child is welcome to read in any portion of the cattery main floor or in any of the side rooms as long as the rooms are not labeled ‘no children.’
- Your child must be at least 6 years old to participate.
- Please supervise your child closely at all times – even the mellowest cats can scratch or bite if pushed, and we don’t want your child or our cats to undergo that stress.
- Cats with yellow collars should NOT be handled by children.
- When you enter the cattery, please pick a spot to sit down and have your child begin reading. Please do not pick up, drag or attempt to move the cats– cats should come to you and your child of their own accord. If a cat comes over, please feel free to pet them as long as they display friendly body language and do not have a yellow collar.
- Please help your child to remain calm and handle the cats appropriately. If staff or volunteers feel that the cats are being mishandled or frightened, you will be asked to discontinue the visit. The Community Outreach department will contact you to discuss future participation if you are asked to leave.
Please fill out the form below to schedule your reading program. We will then call you to select an open date so you and your child can read to some furry friends!