I’ve always said, “if you can read, you can do anything.” I’m dead serious when I say this. Learning anything involves reading. If someone says to me, “I don’t know how…” [to do something], my first response is, you know how to read correct? Yes, then you can figure it out. Just about every single thing you’d ever want to do is in print somewhere. And with the internet and all its resources at your fingertips…and the ability to read…………..you are unstoppable. And you can do anything and everything.
When I was little, the single most important thing to me, in being “grown up” was to be able to read. It wasn’t money, or being able to stay up late or drive a car. It was knowing how to read. So when it came time to learn, I took that very seriously.
Well the kids at Washington Elementary school here in Janesville are taking reading to a whole new level. And man if I could have done this when I was little………….well I think that would have been even cooler than being grown up FOR CERTAIN.
Let me introduce you to the Washington Whisker Whisperers. This is a fantastic reading program developed by teacher Kim Hayward to empower kid’s reading abilities by reading to non-judgemental audiences, shelter cats!
These kids come down to the Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin and read to the cats on Wednesday afternoons. People, this is a HUGE win/win for the kids AND the cats. (And the bystanders [me]!!!) The kids are stoked about the cats, the cats are stoked about the kids (and the attention) and the kids hone their reading skills and the cats reward them with purrs, and licks and snuggles. There is so much love flying around that shelter when those kids are there you can’t help but get caught up in it! Seriously, its like cartoon love. Birds and streamers and hearts floating through the air.
Anyone who knows me knows I’m a giant softie for animals. Little people run a close second. Put the two together? Oh man. I braced myself to cry (happy tears) the whole time I was there. I didn’t. I was so focused on capturing and witnessing the experience between the animals and the kids. It was the most rewarding photography project I’ve worked on in a long time. I am so honored to be a teeny little part of that day.
Share this blog post. Share these pictures. Share the experience of the Washington Whisker Whisperers!!! You “3Dubs” (get it?….Washington (1) Whisker (2) Whisperers (3)) are well on your way of being able to do ANNNNNYYYYYYTHIIIIIING you want in the whole wide world! Life is so much easier when you can read, and read well. Keep up the good work and keep on loving and sharing your time with the animals at the shelter!!! Spread the word and help get funding for this program! The bussing to and from the shelter is the biggest hurdle right now. Its very expensive. Lets put our heads together and see what we can come up with to help! You can post your ideas here, or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or if you’d like to get in touch with the leader of this fine program Kim Hayward, email her at email@example.com