HANCOCK COUNTY — With four-legged, furry friends nestled beside her on the floor, Lydia Wilson read aloud from one of her favorite books.

The sixth-grader at New Palestine Elementary School sat beside a puppy named LaKota; a beagle named Tallulah; Nickie Scott, Bentley’s Buddies and Friends owner; and Lydia’s brother Nick, a Doe Creek Middle School student.

The small group was enjoying the new office space at Bentley’s Buddies and Friends reading program, 1220 W. Main St. Suite C, Greenfield. The opening of the new office will now allow parents and teachers to make appointments for students who need extra reading help. The sessions will happen in a more intimate format with only four or five children, and of course, the dogs.

For the past three years, Scott and her beloved pal Bentley, along with other dogs, have visited area schools and the Hancock County Public Library to meet with county children, allowing children to read to the animals.

The idea is to relax the children and help them understand reading can and should be fun, Scott said.

“It’s not about teaching, it’s about just letting the children read with the animals,” Scott said.

For more on this story, read Tuesday’s Daily Reporter.

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Kristy Deer is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3262 or kdeer@greenfieldreporter.com.