Cuteness overload: Tell-A-Tail uses puppy love to encourage Flint kids to read

This article was previously published on Flintside is an online news magazine about the Flint region.


While it maybe the most adorable reading program you’ll ever see, Tell-A-Tail also is effective. Photo by Mike Naddeo.

FLINT, Michigan—A young girl runs towards the Children’s Learning Place inside the Flint Public Library. She holds a book in her hand, excited and eager.

The dogs are here today.

She rushes past the fish tank, puppets, and Legos and heads right to the quiet German shepherd in the corner, resting on his dog bed. The owner is close by, and invites the young girl over.

With a huge grin, she kneels down on the floor next to the dog, gives him a loving pat on the head, opens her book, and begins to read.


To the dog.

This is Tell-A-Tail, an incredibly cute and unique program at Flint Public Library designed to encourage children to read.

Photo by Mike Naddeo.

“We know children need to practice reading in order to get good at it,” said Kay Schwartz, director of the Flint Public Library. “This is a fun way they can practice without an adult hovering over them.”

Therapy dogs are brought in for the Tell-A-Tail events, which continue throughout the month of July.

Ends up, dogs make the perfect reading companions.

They don’t judge. They don’t interrupt. They listen.

And those qualities make all the difference.

The therapy dogs with their calm and gentle nature, even help the children feel more relaxed as they read, which is especially nice for nervous readers, Schwartz said.

And, while it maybe the cutest reading program you’ll ever see—it also is effective, said Donna Herman, a children’s learning specialist at Flint Public Library.

“There’s no correction. They sit and they read. They’re accepted,” Herman said. “The reality is that research shows the more a child reads, the better they become.”

Sharece Combs has been bringing her child to Tell-A-Tail for the past three years.

“My daughter loves pets,” Combs said one of a handful of parents and children attending a recent Tell-A-Tail. “It gives her a chance to be around pets, because she doesn’t have any at home.”

And, Schwartz isn’t shy about admitting the program is one of many that she hopes help children (and adults) fall in love with reading.

“If kids come to the library mostly to visit the dogs, that’s fine,” said Schwartz. “Our hope is that they leave the library with an armload of books and a plan to come back for the next Tell-A-Tail.”


Photo by Mike Naddeo.



Buzzfeed Unsolved: Where Anyone Can Be A Detective

By Reyna Hurand

This article was previously published on ing Magazine is Michigan State University’s student-run publication covering life, arts, entertainment and more.

O.J. Simpson. Lizzie Borden. The Zodiac. Bigfoot. Aliens. Demons. Ghosts.

These are just a few cases and phenomena that have one frustrating commonality: They remain unsolved to this day.

Whether we’re dealing with the possibility of the supernatural or looking into true crime, some of the most iconic unsolved cases of our time continue to haunt us. From in-depth documentaries to conspiracy theories hidden in the dark web, we are still consumed by these mysteries. And when new details of cases emerge every so often, we can’t help but formulate more questions: Who did it? Is it real? Will it ever be solved?

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Art classes are back at Flint elementary school—thanks to one creative UM-Flint student’s nonprofit

By Reyna Hurand


This article was previously published on Flintside is an online news magazine about the Flint region.

It was raining earlier—but now the sun is shining again at Art in the Park at Lake Callis, and people are admiring paintings under a tent near the beach, kids are laughing while playing on the splash pad, and others are making art of their very own.

Two little girls come over to show off their projects for Anna Schuller, one of the hosts of the event. They have Mason jars filled with colorful sand. Schuller has them stand together for a photo. They both proudly hold up their masterpieces and even after the photo, the large grins remain on their faces.

Schuller sits back down with a smile of her own. “That right there proves how much fun kids have with art,” she says. “It just brightens them up.”

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September is Self-Improvement Month

This article was previously published on ing Magazine is Michigan State University’s student-run publication covering life, arts, entertainment and more.
For some, September marks the start of a beautiful fall season: crisp air, colorful leaves and new beginnings. For others, the month simply means a return to routine: busy schedules, daily stress and crippling anxiety. But did you know September is also National Self-Improvement Month? It’s a reminder to embrace growth, change and positivity. You’re allowed to be selfish—in fact, it’s encouraged.

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Amazing Instagram Accounts To Start Following Today

This article was previously published on Don’t forget to follow @ingmagazine on Twitter and Facebook!
Instagram, where even the simplest of photos can be transformed just by adding that beautiful Kelvin or Valencia filter. The photo-sharing app has become quite the phenomenon, and it’s where many people turn when they need a little inspiration or escapism. So whether you’re researching for your next trip, or you just really need to see a photo of a dog, we’ve got you covered.

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