SPCA Launches Tale for Two Summer Reading Challenge; Program Encourages Children to Read to Shelter Pets

June 8, 2021
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

UPDATE, JULY 7: All slots for this summer’s Tale for Two Reading Challenge have been filled! That’s a lot of dedicated readers! Look for more Tale for Two sessions in the fall, when we resume normal programming. Thanks for all the interest! Good luck readers!

UPDATE, JUNE 23: Tale for Two has received such an overwhelming response to its in-person reading slots that members of the SPCA’s Humane Education Department have added Thursday in-person options to the roster. In addition to the options listed below, children can now be registered to read aloud to shelter animals in person on Thursdays, 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

The SPCA Serving Erie County has announced its 2021 Tale for Two Summer Reading Challenge this year, with prizes for children who read multiple books!

Tale For Two encourages children ages 5 – 16 to read aloud to adoptable animals at the SPCA. Animals benefit from the increased socialization and reduced stress levels, while children work on their literacy and reading skills, building their self-esteem and confidence.

This summer’s reading challenge sessions include both in-person and virtual options to be scheduled June 28 – September 1, 2021.

In-person 30-minute reading sessions take place Mondays and Wednesdays between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Six families will be welcomed for each 30-minute time slot, for a maximum of 18 families each day. Virtual Zoom 30-minute reading sessions are available Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

The cost of a Tale for Two Summer Reading Challenge pass is $50.00, which allows children to read once per week to an SPCA animal in person at the
300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca shelter, once per week to an SPCA animal virtually, or both.

Children in kindergarten through eleventh grade who read multiple books receive certificates of achievement and various SPCA prizes ranging from pencils and wristbands to T-shirts and sweatshirts. The top two children who read the most books will receive a small collection of age-appropriate books for their reading libraries, and memberships to the SPCA’s Kind Kids Club.

Children can bring their own reading materials, or make a selection from the SPCA’s library.

Readers and parents/guardians are required to be part of one hour-long ZOOM orientation session, during which

reading challenge details and rules will be discussed. Orientation sessions are scheduled for Monday, June 21 and Thursday, June 24 at 5:30 p.m. If attendance at one of these sessions is not possible, participants will have the opportunity to watch a recorded orientation session and complete a required orientation questionnaire.


Register for the Tale for Two Summer Reading Challenge and one orientation session right here >> 

Register for the SPCA’s Tale for Two Summer Reading Challenge here >>

At this time, face masks are REQUIRED for all adults and children participating in Humane Education programs, regardless of vaccination; for all unvaccinated adults and children; and for all children 11 years of age and younger.