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Destination: Hear stories, sing songs, see pets at SPCA of Wake County's storytime

Posted January 5, 2012

Preschoolers and Pets at the SPCA of Wake County is kind of like your typical library storytime. There are simple stories, a few songs and a flannel board exercise that kids can help out with.

The similarity ends when the stories end. That's when kids and their caregivers can visit with the cats and dogs at the shelter.

Designed for kids ages 5 and under, the free, 30-minute program is now in its fifth year, said Vanessa Budnick, the humane educator at the SPCA of Wake County who leads it. Vanessa Budnick of the SPCA of Wake County leads a storytime. Destination: Hear stories, sing songs, see pets at SPCA of Wake County's storytime

The goal is to entertain the kids, but also teach them about animals of all kinds. Kids usually leave with something to take home. Each month features a different theme. The focus was on places where animals live when I visited with my two-year-old last month.

My toddler loves animals, but we don't have any pets at my house because of some severe animal allergies. So I jumped at the opportunity to bring her, along with my mom, to the storytime so she could be up close with animals. She enjoyed the stories and songs and even helped out with the flannel board exercise. And it was great to meet some Go Ask Mom readers there too!

Afterwards, she squealed as she watched kittens play and puppies jump up to see her. She's asked when we can go again. And, frankly, I'm surprised my mom didn't leave with one of the kittens.

Preschoolers and Pets meets on the first Tuesday and third Wednesday of each month at 11:15 a.m. at the Curtis Dail Pet Adoption Center in south Raleigh. The next storytime is at 11:15 a.m., Jan. 18. Registration isn't required, but appreciated so Budnick knows how many kids to prepare for.

The SPCA of Wake County offers other activities for kids, including monthly kids clubs for kids in kindergarten to second grade; third to fifth grade; and sixth to eighth grade. At age 15, kids can begin volunteering on their own, though they won't be able to handle the animals until they are 18.

Watch the video to learn more about the Preschoolers and Pets program. For details on all of these programs, go to the SPCA of Wake County's website.



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  • shall6 Jan 6, 2012

    I totally agree with you lilypony!


  • lilypony Jan 5, 2012

    Ms Vanessa is AWESOME! She's been to our preschool a few times. She amazes me with her ability to simultaneously tune out the chatter/unrelated questions, while at the same time engage/entertain/educate a wide range of kids who are bounding with excitement.