Are you ready for a ridiculous amount of cuteness? The Animal Rescue League of Berks County in Pennsylvania hosts a program that lets kids ages 6-13 to read books to homeless animals. The “Book Buddies” program allows kids to practice reading to an nonjudgmental listener, while rescue cats are given much-needed affection. Kids are given small prizes once they complete a certain amount of books.
“The program will help children improve their reading skills while also helping the shelter animals,” according to the shelter’s website.” Cats find the rhythmic sound of a voice very comforting and soothing.” Indeed, if you take a look at the shelter’s delightful Facebook photos, it looks like the animals quite enjoy Dr. Seuss.
According to Time, the program began in August 2013 after the shelter’s director, Kristi Rodriguez, had her 10-year-old son Sean read to a cat to help improve his reading skills. But it wasn’t until earlier this month when a photo of a young boy nuzzling an orange tabby with a picture book was posted on Reddit that word really got out about the animal shelter.
The shelter was reportedly flooded with donations and interest from all over the world. “The response is mind-boggling. I’ve heard from people in Canada and a newspaper in Taiwan. People are calling with questions like, ‘Do you know if there’s a similar program in Omaha, Nebraska? I’ve been contacted by ‘Good Morning America,'” Rodriguez told SFGate. “The phone is ringing off the hook.”