A 6-year-old boy in California named Jacob Tumalan is helping shy dogs inside a local shelter come out of their shells by reading them books. But the unique situation isn’t only benefiting the pups, it’s also helping Jacob improve his reading skills.
Jacob has autism, and his mother Katie explains that he’s always had trouble with loud noises. Going inside a place where dozens of dogs are barking would typically be something Jacob tries to avoid. But there is something special between Jacob and the shelter dogs, especially when there is a book in Jacob’s hands.
“When he’s there, he looks like he’s pretty focused and he could block a lot of that out. At times he’ll cover his ears, but he stays in tune with the dogs while reading his books, so that’s pretty awesome to me.”
The reading sessions started when his aunt, Lisa Dekowski-Ferranti, brought him to the Carson Animal Shelter, where she and her daughter spend their free time volunteering. They created a group called “Rescue Readers,” where children can volunteer to read books to the dogs inside the shelter.
Jacob was obviously a fan of the idea and decided to join. He’s been going to the shelter every Thursday after school for the last six months.
The plan is to extend the program and bring in more readers. Both Lisa and Katie are extremely proud of Jacob, and they’re hopeful their Rescue Readers can help more kids in similar situations.
Screengrab via: Youtube