I know summer is almost over, but new research shows that children that read to dogs during the summer actually maintain or increase their reading skills.

Researchers at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University say second-grade students who read aloud to a dog during the summer seem to maintain their reading skills.

The study involved students with a range of reading aptitudes and attitudes toward reading, who were paired with dogs -- or with people -- and asked to read aloud to them once a week for 30 minutes in the summer, the researchers say.

Lisa Freeman, one of the study's authors and the research mentor for lead author Dawn Lenihan, a third-year veterinary student, says by the end of the summer, the students who read to the dogs experienced a slight gain in their reading ability and improvement in their attitudes toward reading -- measured on the Curriculum-Based Measurement and Elementary Reading Attitude Survey. Those who read to people experienced a decrease on both measures, the study says.

I found this so interesting that I started looking at more articles on this subject. Some libraries even have programs where kids can read to dogs. Seems even the most reluctant readers are happy to read to a dog! So, wouldn't it make sense to do this all year round?

As a child I hated to read, especially out loud because I was so shy.  I think if I had done this as a child I would have found my love for reading a lot earlier! Now you just need to train your dog to sit, stay and listen!

via Kids improve reading by reading to dogs - UPI.com.