SUGAR LAND - It's Friday morning at ten o'clock. That means it's time for Jasmine the German Shepherd to got to work at the Museum of Natural Science in Sugar Land.
What's her job you ask? It's helping kids like Kelly Dailey read.
"She was really nervous at first because she struggles with reading, and to see her actually go over and read three books to a dog and her niece is pretty amazing." says her mom April.
Jasmine is a rescue that belongs to Al Dobson and his wife. They are volunteers for PAWS for Reading. Jasmine or another certified therapy dog is at the museum between ten and eleven on Fridays and Saturdays to help kids read.
Yes, the dogs are certified and they have to have the right temperament and socialization. It's aimed at helping kids who struggle with reading for whatever reason. Kids can bring their own books or select one that belongs to the museum.
At first, some children are hesitant to read to a dog, but it doesn't last.
"The dog doesn't criticize and we don't say anything. We might help them with a word or something like that, but the dog doesn't criticize. Just sits right there next to them and is their companion. They feel the attachment to them." says Dobdson.
PAWS may seem unconventional but it's not unique. All across the country there are similar programs. The kids think they are helping the dogs learn to read, but they are teaching themselves.
There are Paws chapters around the country and another program called READ goes into schools. Yes, Jasmine participates in that too.
But don't tell Jasmine the kids are learning on their own. She thinks she's doing the teaching.