Starting in September, the Tracy Branch Library will offer a homework help group for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The free group will meet from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday.
“The library is a multi-fancied place,” Tracy Branch Librarian Merrilee Chapman said. “We have free computer access, activities and programs all year long. The library is also a place to hang out with your friends. Not only are there books on the shelves, but you can download e-books for free. We have lots of great programs here, including a reading program with therapy dogs called Paws 4 Friends — which kids can read to dogs here at the library.”
Paws 4 Friends meets on different weekends at the Tracy, Mountain House and Manteca branch libraries.
“I like this reading club,” Ashley Varghese, 8, of Mountain House said. “I feel excited and it really helps to read to the dogs.”
Typically, two or three dogs are at the library each time and can see anywhere from six to 30 kids. Paws 4 Friends has around 40 team members. Children who participate are encouraged to grab a book and read to a dog.
“This reading program was started about three years ago, and all the dogs in the group are registered therapy dogs,” Dan Schack, founding member of Paws 4 Friends, said. “It’s a great program that the kids and their parents get so much out of. Sometimes when kids have a reading disability, it’s been shown that it’s much easier to read to a dog then an adult. Some studies have shown the kid’s reading skills improve. I think this helps provide a beneficial program to the local community.”
“This helps children leave their fear of reading behind, because the dog won’t criticize or correct them,” Mountain House Branch Librarian Kathleen Buffleben said. “This helps them freely read.”
The reading program is open to all age groups. Paws 4 Friends meet from 1 to 3 p.m. the second Saturday of each month at the Mountain House Branch Library and the third Saturday at the Tracy Branch Library. For more information, people can visit www.paws4friends.com.
There will be no meeting this Saturday.
Other programming offered at the library includes a chess club, open to all ages, on Saturdays at both the Tracy and Mountain House branch libraries. In Tracy, the chess club meets from noon to 2 p.m., and in Mountain House, from 3 to 5 p.m. Kids receive a chess lesson and then have open chess time. On the second Tuesday of the month, teens can enjoy a free game night from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Tracy Branch Library, and there’s a family story time at 6 p.m. Mondays. For more library activities, visit www.ssjcpl.org.
The Tracy library is at 20 E. Eaton Ave. The Mountain House library is at 250 E. Main Street. Contact number for both is 937-8221.
For more local activities, read the Datebook section of the Tracy Press.
• Contact the Tracy Press at email@example.com or 835-3030.