Bismarck Public Library BARK program help kids learn to read using therapy dogs

BISMARCK, N.D. - For a child just learning to read, a no-biased listener can be encouraging. That's the idea behind a program at the Bismarck Public Library.

Bismarck Animals Reading with Kids, or BARK, is a program where kids read to therapy dogs. They get to play with them too. The program has been running for years and helps encourage kids to read. One owner says that a third-grader she worked with went from a first grade reading level to a fourth grade level in under a year.

"There's no pressure, so if you say a word wrong, well that's OK. Frankie doesn't really care. She just wants to hear the story, and she'll help," said Genell Bogner, Frankie's chauffeur.

The sessions are held once a week, the program usually has three or four dogs on hand for kids to read to.