It's an adorable win-win situation: Kids can practice reading while shelter cats get the affection they need.
Organized by the Animal Rescue League -- an animal shelter in Berks County, Pa. -- "Book Buddies" is a program that allows children to read to cats who are waiting to be adopted. The program, which aims to both improve reading skills among children and help the shelter animals, allows kids ages 6 to 13 at any reading level to participate, according to Metro.
Earlier this month, "Book Buddies" garnered national attention after a photo of a boy reading to a cat at the Animal Rescue League was posted to Reddit by user Dagorlad. The photo, below, quickly went viral.
According to the Reddit thread, this resulted in a spike in donations to the shelter, with one commenter even asking how to donate from Istanbul.
Despite website glitches due to the high influx of traffic, the Animal Rescue League expressed gratitude on its Facebook page for the outpouring of support following the viral Reddit post:
Below are some of the kids that participate in "Book Buddies," reading to their furry friends:
This isn't the first time we've come across an initiative like this. In Hamilton, Mont., kids read to shelter animals at the Bitter Root Humane Association through the Keystone to Discovery Enrichment program -- a nonprofit for at-risk youths.
"We’ve seen that the sound of their voices is soothing for the dogs and cats," Ria Overholt, Keystone program director, told Ravalli Republic. "It is relaxing to the dogs to hear those calm and steady voices."