Tale to Tail: Clifford Edition

Remember your Library’s Tale to Tail program, in which kids read aloud to a trained listening dog in a one-on-one setting? We’ve really missed this service while the Library has been closed. That’s why we’re bringing is back, but with a twist!

In our new version of Tale to Tail, kids ages 5-8 can read to Clifford the Big Red Dog! Clifford will listen attentively and quietly while your kids read books aloud to him over Zoom. Tale to Tail sessions are on Mondays from 4-4:15 and 4:30-4:45 p.m. Call (423) 434-4458 to sign up your child for one of these 15-minute slots.

Tale to Tail addresses an important issue children face as they learn to read. Reading aloud can be intimidating and even scary for kids of all reading levels. Tale to Tail allows young readers to practice reading aloud in a judgment-free space; they’re able to slow down, make mistakes, and start over without pressure.

The Library began offering Tale to Tail in 2010. Youth Services Manager Betty Cobb says that in the years since, she has heard from many parents about how the program has impacted their kids. “Parent feedback assures me that attending Tale to Tail has improved their children’s reading skills and helped them gain confidence in reading aloud.”

“Some children are more withdrawn or shy,” Betty explains, “and when they read with a dog they become more outgoing. They feel more comfortable reading after sharing a book with a dog who is nothing but open and positive.” (Or in this new version, a big, lovable red dog named Clifford!)

To register your child for Tale to Tail, call (423) 434-4458. Learn more about our youth programs and services at jcpl.org/kids. Follow Johnson City Public Library on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to stay up-to-date on Library happenings.

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