WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Sept. 11, 2019 — Kids just naturally seem to like pets and storybooks. So what could be better than a chance to listen to a story and meet a new puppy or shelter animal?
In collaboration with the Marshall County Animal Shelter, West Liberty University Assistant Professor of Teacher Education Angela Curfman came up with a clever way to foster reading and kindness through a new partnership that offers a read-aloud visit and book donation to all area PreK-Grade 5 classrooms.
“Books & Barks is available to any local elementary classroom teacher right in their classroom. In a 20-30 minute session, students will engage in an interactive read-aloud, accompanied by a friendly shelter animal,” she explained.
“Upon conclusion of the read-aloud, students will receive a recycled book and have the opportunity to interact with and read to the shelter animal.”
Gently owned books are provided by the WLU Lending Library, begun last year on the hilltop campus.
This small library is a collection of pre-owned children’s literature, with the goal to redistribute to local children and to spark a reading revolution, according to Curfman.
“Through the read-aloud activity, the donation of gently loved books, and shelter animal interactions, literacy skills and attributes such as empathy, kindness, and sharing are modeled and supported,” Curfman added.
Curfman invites classroom teachers to contact her to take advantage of Barks and Books. Each visit lasts about 30 minutes and repeated visits are welcome.
Curfman, who is from Moundsville, W.Va., holds an undergraduate degree in education, a Master of Science in Reading and Literacy, and is a doctoral candidate at West Virginia University.
Now in her third year with WLU’s College of Education and Human Performance, she’s had a big response already.
“We are always looking for donations of books,” she said.
Please email Curfman at [email protected]