As a coach of 3 teams, 2 baseball and 1 softball team, I’m used to seeing kids who don’t have a lot of self esteem. To me this is one of my jobs as a coach, to get young kids to feel confident enough in their own skin to come out of their shells.
But, there are always those kids who are very shy. They don’t like to talk and I find out usually this is because they are afraid of criticism. Usually these kids are very quiet and don’t like to be in large groups. Sometimes they don’teven like to be one on one because of the social pressures they feel.
In the past, when I did S.M.A.R.T. (Start Making A Reader Today), I found most of the kids were very shy and didn’t like to read out loud as they were afraid to make a mistake. They were always harder on themselves than anyone else ever could be. But, most of these kids, with practice, could become great readers and even speakers, they just need to build that self confidence in themselves.
But, how do you get a child to read out loud when they are afraid of what others might think if they should stutter or make a mistake? Well, you partner them with a reading partner that will only listen. They will never correct them or make them feel stupid. Their partner will only praise them, love them unconditionally, and just listen, listen, and listen some more.
The Beaverton City Library has started a program that does exactly that for young readers with their reading to dogs program. This Saturday, June 6, at 10am at the Beaverton City Library, they are having reading to dogs, where kids can read to therapy dogs. These dogs are great listeners and do nothing but love and make people feel good about themselves and never judge!
If you have a child that you think would benefit from this program, then I suggest you take them to the Beaverton City Library this weekend and get them involved in this program and start building their self esteem today.