How cows and cats can keep kids reading this summer

CAREing Paws offers kids the chance to read aloud to furry friends.

Credit: Photo courtesy of CAREing Paws

Credit: Photo courtesy of CAREing Paws

CAREing Paws offers kids the chance to read aloud to furry friends.

Got books?

The Georgia Mobile Dairy Classroom will help kick off Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System's "On Your Mark, Get Set, Read," summer reading program 1 p.m. Thursday, June 9.

The Ocee branch event will feature a cow for milking demonstrations and feeding, and is one of several library celebrations taking place across the region to encourage summer reading. Parties will feature zumba, kids chemistry and more.

The Ocee branch is at 5090 Abbotts Bridge Road, Johns Creek, Ga. 30005; 770-360-8897.

Summer reading programs at the library system's 34 locations vary, but all readers can register at their local branch. Readers will need to keep a log of books read, which they then turn in for prizes. For more information, visit

Local bookstores also have reading programs.

Bookmiser will offer a free book equal to the value of every five books purchased and read. The store is at 4651 Sandy Plains Road, Roswell, Ga. 30075, 770-993-1555; or 3822 Roswell Road, Marietta, Ga. 30062, 770-509-5611;

Decatur's Little Shop of Stories takes a novel approach to kids summer reading with weeklong book camps featuring themes such as Harry Potter, American Girl and Magic Tree House. The camps, which run through Aug. 5, are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and cost $275 to $325. Many already have a wait list. The shop is at 133A East Court Square, Decatur, Ga. 30030, 404-373-6300;

If you have a nervous or reluctant reader, why not enlist the help of some friends?

Good Mews, a cage-free, no-kill shelter in Marietta, lets first- through eighth-graders read to a cat audience. In return, the shelter cats still receive one-on-one human time. Sessions are free, though donations are appreciated, and run through July 25.

The shelter is at 3805 Robinson Road, Marietta, Ga. 30067, 770-4992287;

CAREing Paws typically works with special needs and English as a second language readers. The human/animals teams also make appearances throughout Georgia, such as libraries, schools, colleges and nursing homes. Readers of all ages can sign up for short sessions during these appearances. Go to CAREing Paws calendar at to find out where they will be, or visit CAREing Paws at 4 Terrace Park, Newnan, Ga. 30265; 770-252-5303.