My KDL Story: Daniel Deindorfer

"Ruff Readers is a great opportunity for young readers to blossom to their greatest potential..."

Daniel Deindorfer

Daniel Deindorfer was not yet in kindergarten when he and his mom visited the Cascade Township branch and saw the dogs. More specifically, dogs lounging on blankets in quiet corners of the library, seemingly all-ears as they were being read to by children.

One look at that, said Stephanie Deindorfer-Tomaszek, and dog-lover Daniel was in. The summers of 2006 and 2007, Daniel was signed up every chance he could to read to West Michigan Therapy Dogs through the Ruff Readers programs at the Cascade and Englehardt branches.

So intent was Daniel on the task, Stephanie said, he would "screen" books ahead of time to determine whether they would be suitable for his lap-loving listeners.

"I thought maybe the dogs would like dog kinds of books," recalled Daniel, whose selections included the Clifford series and books such as Stanley's Wild Ride. He has continued the practice at home with his shepherd-husky mix, Mackie Doodle.

Today, Daniel's mom credits Ruff Readers with the almost-13-year-old's (emphasis his) "language arts accomplishments." He's enrolled in the middle-school version of honors English, participates in Odyssey of the Mind and, according to his mom, can research and prepare presentations like nobody's business.

"When he entered kindergarten his teacher was like, 'Holy mackerel,'" she recalled. "Ruff Readers is a great opportunity for young readers to blossom to their greatest potential."


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