CIRCLEVILLE - Students in the Extra Mile program at Circleville Elementary School learned about shelter dogs Monday with "celebrity readers" from Partners for Paws and the Wright-Poling Pickaway County Dog Shelter.
Joy Hoover, Partners for Paws volunteer, shared her reasons for volunteering at the dog shelter with the second and third graders in the program, and Maria Bennett, deputy dog warden, brought a shelter dog named Beatrice to visit with the children.
Students learned how dogs often come to the county dog shelter and how the staff and volunteers help socialize them and find them permanent homes. They also learned about the duties of the dog shelter staff and how their own families can become involved as volunteers or through adopting a homeless pet.
For the reading portion of the program, the guests shared books about homeless pets and animal shelters. Hoover read "Buddy Unchained" by Daisy Bix and Joe Hyatt (illustrator) for the students, and Bennett read "Before You Were Mine" by Maribeth Boelts.
Extra Mile, a before-school and after-school program at Circleville City Schools, gives students the opportunity to participate in a variety of planned activities including academic enrichment, recreational activities, cultural studies and character education.
Sara Foster, elementary Extra Mile coordinator, said she tries to line up celebrity readers as often as she can, but Monday's program was especially interesting for the students.
"It was really good," Foster said. "The dog was a big hit."