Kids are reading to therapy dogs on Zoom. They can’t pet the pooches, but sessions still book up fast.

By Kellie B. Gormly  for The Washington Post

Nicholas Gaiani grinned as he narrated the lyrics to a beloved Louis Armstrong song for his furry audience on Zoom from his home in Bethesda.

“And I think to myself, what a wonderful world,” Nicholas, 6, read from the illustrated book version of the song, as he does each week during his “Read to a PAL Therapy Dog!” session.

The Washington-based nonprofit group called People. Animals. Love. has switched its in-person meetups to virtual sessions during the pandemic to serve hundreds of kids per month who are practicing reading.

JP the pooch slept through much of Nicholas’s reading of both “What a Wonderful World” and “Good Night Washington, DC.”

No hard feelings. They’re judgment-free sessions, so dog naps are okay. And if new readers want to strut their stuff — or even if they struggle with some words — that’s all right, too.

Read more here.

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“He’s really proud that he can read,” said Nicholas’s mother, Alissa Gaiani. “It’s really given him a platform to show that off a bit.”