Read to dogs, make books at Nov. 5 children’s literacy event

Two University of Houston-Victoria School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development associate professors are attempting to spread the word about literacy in the Crossroads.

To get children exciting about reading, UHV is teaming up with McCoy’s Building Center and Adopt-A-Pet of Victoria to put on Building Literacy in the Community. The free event will take place from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Nov. 5 in the McCoy’s Building Supply parking lot, 5803 Zac Lentz Parkway.

Event participants can read to dogs, make personalized books and create artwork. There also will be storytelling and other literacy activities.

Carol Klages

“We are encouraging children to do anything involving reading, such as talking about books, making books and acting out stories,” said Carol Klages, a UHV associate professor of education.

Dogs from Adopt-A-Pet – including a few puppies – will be on hand to listen to stories read by children. They also will lend a paw with the art creations.

“Research shows that reading to dogs helps with children’s fluency because they don’t feel like they are being judged,” Klages said. “Fluency is practicing without feeling intimidated that someone will stop and correct you. It creates a relaxing atmosphere.”

Jane Fry

Spread the Word about Literacy is a new group formed by Klages and Jane Fry, a UHV associate professor of literacy studies, to encourage the advancement of literacy in the Victoria region. Since literacy is the key to all learning, the idea is for UHV students, community members, businesses and nonprofit organizations to work together to promote literacy, Fry said. More events are in the works for the spring.

Students in Klages and Fry’s UHV classes will be helping put on the activities.

“It gives them a good experience working with children and giving back to the community,” Klages said. “Our jobs as faculty members go beyond teaching students classroom materials. We want to provide them with learning opportunities in the community.”

For more information about the event, contact Fry at

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Jeremy Shapiro