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Humane Society of Tampa Bay programs pairs shelter pets with children for storytime

The program pairs pets looking for a home and love to hear stories with kids to read to them.

TAMPA, Fla — Just because it's summer doesn't mean children can't crack open a good book  —  especially when that means storytime for shelter pets. 

It's called Paws for Literacy and it's a program by the Humane Society of Tampa Bay that aims to give children who love animals a chance to spend time with them while catching up on their reading. 

The program pairs pets looking for a home and with kids who read to them.

The Humane Society of Tampa Bay says the program is free for children five and older. 

The humane society says it provides reading stools, books and treats for the animals. The book choices include animal tales, stories of the animal-human bond and books that teach empathy to young readers, according to the humane society. 

Kids are welcome to bring their own books if they want to read their favorite go-to tales. 

You can read more about the program here.

RELATED: Florida elementary school students below reading level will receive monthly book deliveries

Earlier this month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis held a ceremonial signing of HB3 Thursday in Fort Pierce in a show of commitment from the state to "tackle this problem head-on."

The bill creates the "New World's Reading Initiative" which delivers free books to students grades K-5 who are not reading at their grade level. Deliveries will come to the student's home on a monthly basis and will also include training materials for parents. 

By 2030 the state is aiming to go from 50-percent of students on reading level by the third grade to 90-percent.  

RELATED: Tampa Bay area schools in a hiring rush before school starts

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