BSES Pet Adoption

Adopt-A-Pet Reading Program Boosts Student Development at Bright Star Elementary
Posted on 03/07/2024
Students at Bright Star Elementary are exploring pet adoption as a non-traditional approach to immerse themselves in reading. Hundreds of kindergarten, first- and second-grade students recently took part in the annual Reading Pet Adoption Program, where students adopted a soft furry friend to use as a reading buddy, both in school and at home.

For the past several years, Bright Star has experienced this program with second graders; however, they decided to expand it to kindergarten and first graders this year.

“The expression and excitement of the younger grades made our decision worth it,” said Media Specialist Elizabeth Shadix. “We saw almost 300 students excited to adopt a reading buddy and choose a book to read,” she added.

Teachers encouraged students to have their reading companion join them at school each day during reading times. In fact, several parents graciously reached out to teachers commending them for the program and sharing stories about students reading at home and taking their fluffy friends along for car rides.

"My reading buddy makes reading more fun because I have my plushie to read to before I fall asleep at night," said second grader Raylei Mays. Each student named their pet and received an adoption certificate.

Although stuffed animals primarily serve as toys for kids, research suggests they also provide children with a sense of comfort and security, confidence to express complex emotions, lower stress levels, creativity, advanced cognitive development and improved social skills.

Overall, reading to stuffed animals can foster children's imagination, excitement for reading, language and vocabulary development and literary skills.
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