ISHPEMING TOWNSHIP — Students at Aspen Ridge Elementary School spent part of their Friday afternoon reading to some four-legged friends.

Superiorland Pet Partners comes to the elementary school every week for its “Read to Me” program, where beginner readers can enhance their reading skills by reading aloud to dogs.

“The important thing you should be (when you read) is be comfortable with it,” Aspen Ridge Elementary School first grader Addisyn said. “And I love reading.”

“Another important thing (about reading) is that it would help you build your stamina and that’s important so you can be a better reader,” Aspen Ridge Elementary School first grader James said.

“The students are very excited go to read to the dogs,” Aspen Ridge Elementary School first grade teacher Andrea Kleinpaste said. “It’s another way we can make it exciting for these early learners for reading.”

“You can tell from week to week that children are improving their reading skills just by reading to the dogs,” Superior Land Pet Partner dog therapy team member Cliff Heliste said, “because they loose all of their inhibitions, nobody’s judging them, and they’re just there reading with the dogs.  It’s just great.”

Superior Land Pet Partners is also planning on starting the program at Birchview Elementary School next year.

If you would like to volunteer with the program, visit Superiorland Pet Partners’ website.