‘Tons of snuggles’

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Students at Cullman City Primary School adopt stuffed animals as part of a reading program for young learners. (Cullman City Schools)

Stuffed animal reading pet adoption day at CCPS

CULLMAN, Ala. – Storytime at Cullman City Primary School last week turned into a surprise pet adoption day for young students learning about the importance of reading through the children’s book “Madeline Finn and the Library Dog” by Lisa Papp.

The children’s book, published in 2016, is about a young student named Madeline who is struggling to read but learns to practice her patience while reading to a library dog named Bonnie.

“She learns that reading aloud to Bonnie isn’t so bad, and when she gets stuck, Bonnie doesn’t mind,” CCPS Media Specialist Hilary Nix explained of the story. “Madeline Finn realizes that reading is fun when you’re not afraid of making mistakes. Bonnie teaches her that it’s okay to go slow – and most importantly – to keep trying!”

After storytime, every student in kindergarten through second grade had the opportunity to visit the library’s special reading pet adoption center to adopt their very own “library dog” in the form of a small stuffed animal they could take home and keep forever to practice their reading skills anytime.

In addition to choosing their pet, students also had to fill out their “official” adoption papers, practicing writing their own name and choosing a fun name for their new stuffed animal pet.

“By completing the certificate, each student promised to read and take care of it forever,” Nix said. “After the students completed their certificate, they received their very own special pet carrier to transport their pet home safely. Students were so excited to receive their pets and promised to read lots to them and give them tons of snuggles!”

The reading project was funded by donations from parents, grandparents and guardians; in addition to support from the CCPS Book Fair.