Bark Slope: Kiddos read to dogs at Park Slope bookstore

Smooch-y guy: First-graders pet and read to Fonzie, a German shepherd, and several other four-legged audience members at Powerhouse in Park Slope on March 27.
Brooklyn Paper
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It’s the cutest thing ever — 2019 edition!

Youngsters recited children’s books to dogs at the PowerHouse on Eighth bookstore on March 26, as part of the borough’s only annual event where kids learn to read — and Brooklyn learns to feel again.

“It was very, very adorable,” said Mika Kleban, who organized this year’s Kids Read to Dogs event. “Kids read, dogs were pet, all was well.”

This year’s Kids Read to Dogs event featured 50 first graders, ages 6–7, from PS 107 reading to registered therapy dogs at the Eighth Avenue book seller, where the pooches offered youngsters — newly set upon the path to literacy — a judgement free audience of very good listeners, according to the mom, who serves on the PS 107 PTA’s Beast Relief Committee, which teaches kids about conservation, and raises money to support endangered species.

“The whole concept behind this event is to give kids a non-judgemental, non-threatening audience,” said Kleban.

This year’s event featured Rocky the Australian shepherd, Cosi the Spinone Italiano, Kylo the Yorkshire terrier, Fonzie the German shepherd, and Karat, a 6-year-old Labrador retriever, who has the sweetest, saddest eyes in the whole world, pictures show.

The dogs were educated to provide unconditional love to the sick, elderly, and all-around melancholy residents of New York, and endured a rigorous training program that promotes only the city’s best behaved furballs, according to a foundation rep.

“What people in our organization have said is that every dog is a great dog, but not every dog is a Good Dog,” said Carly Goteiner, director of community engagement at the Good Dog Foundation.

On Wednesday, some dogs proved better listeners than others, who took story time as their que to take a nap, while the youngsters gave them pets and scratches, Goteiner said.

“Some of them used it as an opportunity to relax and get pets, but others listened very intently,” she said.

But the foundations strict training regimen shined through in the end, according to Goteiner, who claimed who dogs set a great example for the kids.

“I might be biased, I have to say the dogs were better behaved,” she said. “But the kids were great.”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 12:49 pm, April 2, 2019
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