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Young readers get help from 'Gus' the therapy dog

Town of Tonawanda libraries are offering "Books and Barks," a one-on-one reading program for kids ages 5 to 12 with Gus the therapy dog.

The program is good for children who are shy about reading to other people, said Dorinda Darden, director of the Town of Tonawanda Libraries.

The program started in 2015 with the help of Therapy Dogs International, which provides the dogs, said Kenmore Branch Librarian Jill Jablonski.

"It's a great way of helping kids with their literacy skills, because the dog is not judging them if they stumble or mispronounce a words," said Jablonski.

The program is offered from 10:30 a.m. to noon on the second Saturday of each month in the Kenmore Library and from 6 to 7:30 on second Wednesdays in the Kenilworth Branch Library. Registration is necessary and children are assigned 15 minute reading sessions.

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