Reading to Dogs

Wed. afternoons at 3:45,
Children of all ages are invited to come to the Library and read to "Maya", a trained therapy dog.

Man's best friend can do a lot more than fetch and roll over. Research now suggests that dogs can actually help children learn to read.

For young kids, one of the big challenges in learning to read is the embarrassment of making mistakes. Reading to dogs provides a simple solution -- a non-judgmental, comforting furry friend who "listens" and takes the pressure off a child as he stumbles.

Studies have begun to show conclusively that children who read to an audience perform much better when the audience is a dog as opposed to an adult human or a group of human peers. The theory is that because the dog (usually a trained therapy dog) is attentive and nonjudgmental, the child feels more comfortable working through any difficulties sounding out the words or assembling the sentences conceptually knowing the dog won’t mock or laugh, but only support.

For children who are beginning to read, or are a little behind developmentally, or suffer from dyslexia, autism, or learning disabilities, an environment with a friendly companion like a professional therapy dog (or even a well-trained family pet) can create a safe atmosphere where they can work out their difficulties but not feel trivialized by classroom peers or fear disapproval of adult authority figures.

The Epic of Gilgamesh with Sebastian Lockwood

Wed. Nov. 12, 7pm
Gilgamesh is the great epic of ancient Mesopotamia, one of the oldest works in western literature, contemporary with the oldest parts of the Bible. It is the story of a legendary king who achieves heroic victories with the help of the wild man Enkidu. The Gilgamesh epic, written over four thousand years ago in ancient cuneiform script, was found on broken tablets in what is today Iraq * where the cradle of civilization is believed to have developed between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers.

Sebastian Lockwood brings the story of Gilgamesh and Enkidu to life as these two discover each other, leave on a great adventure to battle the monstrous giant Huwawa, where they will face Ishtar and death, and travel to see Utnapishtin (Noah) to find the answer to why we die.

Sebastian Lockwood is a poet, teacher, and storyteller who specializes in the epics: The Epic of Gilgamesh, Homer*s Odyssey, and Beowulf. He studied the classics and anthropology at Boston University and the UK*s Cambridge University. Currently, Lockwood performs far and wide, as well as teaches at several universities the techniques of storytelling and the use of poetry for artists and teachers.

Made possible by a generous grant from the NH Humanities Council.

Mission Statement

The Fitzwilliam Town Library supports the needs and interests of our community by offering information, experiences and ideas in creative ways.

Adopted by the Board of Trustees on March 3, 2014

Weather advisory- If the schools are closed, it is the Library's policy to close as well.

Fitzwilliam Film (and Food) Fest "Omar" (Palestine, 2013)

Friday, Nov. 14 at 7:00

A tense, gripping thriller about betrayal, suspected and real, in the Occupied Territories. Omar (Adam Bakri) is a Palestinian baker who routinely climbs over the separation wall to meet up with his girl Nadja (Leem Lubany). By night, he's either a freedom fighter or a terrorist-you decide-ready to risk his life to strike at the Israeli military with his childhood friends Tarek (Eyad Hourani) and Amjad (Samer Bisharat). Arrested after the killing of an Israeli soldier and tricked into an admission of guilt by association, he agrees to work as an informant. So begins a dangerous game-is he playing his Israeli handler (Waleed F. Zuaiter) or will he really betray his cause? And who can he trust on either side? Palestinian filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad (Paradise Now) has made a dynamic, action-packed drama about the insoluable moral dilemmas and tough choices facing those on the frontlines of a conflict that shows no sign of letting up. Middle Eastern Refreshments!

Book Party: "A Tale for the Time Being" by Ruth Ozeki

For Adults (Book Party on Mon. Nov. 10, 7pm)
Books available at the Library. Ruth—the character Ruth—is a writer living in a remote corner of the Pacific coast of British Columbia who is currently thwarted by writer’s block as she attempts to compose a memoir. One day she finds a collection of materials contained in a lunchbox that has washed up on the beach. As if she has unleashed a magical mist, the items she finds inside, namely a journal and a collection of letters, envelop her in the details—the dramas—of someone else’s life. The life she has stumbled into is that of a Japanese teenager, who, believing suicide is the only relief for her teenage angst, nevertheless is determined, before she commits that final act, to write down the story of her great-grandmother, a Buddhist nun. We go from one story line to the other, back and forth across the Pacific, but the reader never loses place or interest. Read the New York Times' review of this book here. Refreshments!

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