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Dog Pen Pals Encourage Kids to Read

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WAOW Television
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With the hope of instilling the love of reading in young children, the T.B. Scott Free Library has started a puppy pen pal program for the month of February.

Mark Mehlos, who is a local therapy dog handler, along with his retrievers Kiva and Tucker will be part of the program.

The goal is to get 50 preschool aged children and 50 school aged children in the Merrill School District to send a valentine to the dogs.

"It's the promoting of reading, my mother read to me at a young age and it just really helped me on my journey a lot so I appreciate that," Mark said.

He and his fury companions usually make stops in Merrill schools, but due to the pandemic it wasn't possible this year.

The hope is that through this program the relationships between the children and dogs can continue to grow.

Those in preschool will receive a folder containing supplies to create and send a valentine to the dogs and those in school will receive a 'Pen Pal Packet.'

Kids that send a valentine will receive a message back from Mark and his dogs.

The packets can be requested by a teacher or counselor for selected students, they are also available in library's 'Project Packs' that are available by contacting library at 715-536-7191