The Missouri Humane Society has come up with a wonderful new program that helps their shelter dogs learn to socialize, bond with and trust humans but also helps kids build their reading skills.
The program invites children to come read to the shelter dogs, an audience that is completely non-judgemental for the children. It also nurtures empathy within the children and gives them a sense of helping others, which can only serve to show them how great volunteer work is. For the dogs, the learned ability to socialize better increases their adoptability.
It would be amazing to see this program expand to more shelters.