GREENFIELD — Bentley’s Buddies — a local literacy organization that pairs kids with dogs as reading buddies — hosted a summer camp this week.

Director Nickie Scott said campers gathered at the nonprofit’s office, dubbed “The Doghouse,” to collectively read a book and hear from a different guest speaker each day.

The Sit Stay Read Camp kicked off Monday, June 12 with a special guest — Tony, a dog available for adoption through Greenfield-Hancock Animal Management.

Before Tony’s arrival, the kids read a book to a few dogs who volunteer through Bentley’s Buddies. The book — “Can I Be Your Dog?,” a national bestseller by Indiana author Troy Cummings — tells the story of a dog in search of a forever home.

He writes letters to everyone on his street, asking them to adopt him.

“It’s such a good book with valuable lessons,” said Scott.

After reading the book, the campers got a visit from Tony and Amanda DeHoney, director of Greenfield-Hancock County Animal Management, who taught the kids about the local shelter and the importance of pet adoption.

Campers then practiced persuasive writing by writing letters pleading their case on why Tony would make a great pet. The letters were later hung on Timmy’s cage for guests to read at the shelter.

Scott said Monday’s camp was a perfect example of how the camp carries out the nonprofit’s mission of using dogs to advance literacy in children.

Bentley’s Buddies dogs and their owners, who volunteer for reading sessions with kids throughout the year, attended camp each day.

On Tuesday, June 11 campers read their canine friends a book on flower arranging, and got a visit from the owners of Andree’s Floral Design in Greenfield.

On Wednesday they read “I Want to be a Vet,” by Dan Liebman, and then heard from Dr. Holly Jacobson with Westwood Animal Clinic.

The camp wrapped up Thursday when the featured book was “Maya and the Stage Fright” by Vicky Weber. A local lip sync group, Kathryn and the Vixens, visited with campers to talk about facing their fears.

Scott said different campers were signed up to attend the three-hour camp each day, giving them the opportunity to learn something new while embracing a love of reading. And of course, a love of dogs.

Eight-year-old Noah Morrell was having a good time at the camp on Monday when he got a few affectionate licks from the canine guests and wrote down reasons why people should adopt Tony from the shelter.

“I like animals,” said the freckle-faced young boy, who has three dogs, four birds and four gerbils at home.

Scott commended the guest speakers who committed to interacting with campers this week and the Bentley’s Buddies volunteers who brought along their dogs. She also credited Dollar General and the National Bank of Indianapolis for sponsoring the camp, and the Hancock County Retired Teachers Association for supporting Bentley’s Buddies throughout the year.

The program connects canines with kids who need help in enhancing their reading skills. Those who wish to volunteer can contact Scott at 317-604-7309 or visit Bentley’s Buddies and Friends on Facebook.