By Matt Kroschel

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (CBS4) – Volunteers are coming together to support children as they learn to read in Grand Junction.

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(credit: CBS)

For some children, reading out loud with an adult hovering over them can be stressful.

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(credit: CBS)

Now, dogs are serving as their reading partners.

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(credit: CBS)

Dogs don’t understand the story. They don’t know if the kids reading it to them are doing it perfectly or not, they just lay there and listen.

“It sounded like a really good way to engage kids, young readers, reluctant readers. We jumped on it overtime. It has developed into one of our most popular programs,” said Bob Kretschman.

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(credit: CBS)

Community members with specially-trained support dogs proposed the Dog Ears Program at the Grand Junction Library, and it has been a big hit with young readers.

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(credit: CBS)

“It’s really cool because kids and dogs have a really great synergy. There’s a connection, Kretschman said.

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Now, the program is expanding to other library branches across the Grand Valley.

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to mrkroschel@cbs.com and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.

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