OriolesREACH, Gausman partner to create new “Tails with Tales” reading program

As part of an ongoing partnership, OriolesREACH and Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter, Inc. (BARCS), will team up with Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman and his wife, Taylor, to create “Tails with Tales,” a new program that encourages childhood reading and promotes social interaction with shelter pets.

The new project pairs adoptable animals with children as ‘reading buddies’ in an effort to provide companionship to animals while promoting reading comprehension, vocabulary development, and confidence among youth. After reading five books to a shelter pet, students will receive two complimentary tickets to an Orioles game, as well as a book of their own to continue practicing reading development. Book donations will be supplied by the Gausmans, as well as by BARCS volunteers.

“As animal lovers, Taylor and I are enthusiastic supporters of BARCS and this program was a perfect way to increase our involvement,” said Kevin Gausman. “As a former teacher, Taylor understands the challenges that children face when learning to read, especially the pressure they experience when reading out loud in front of their classmates. This program helps to alleviate that pressure by allowing kids to practice reading in a safe space with supportive listeners, all while providing companionship and love to animals most in need.”

On Friday, June 2, the Gausmans will join members of the Orioles on Deck Employee Volunteer Program presented by Bank of America and more than a dozen students from the Webster Kendrick Boys & Girls Club to launch the “Tails with Tales” program from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at BARCS.

Additionally, for the ninth consecutive year, the Orioles will support BARCS through sales of the 2017-18 Orioles Pet Calendar presented by Pet+E.R. The full-color calendar will be available for purchase later this season for $15.

Over the past eight years, the Orioles have helped to raise more than $256,000 for BARCS, including nearly $77,000 through Orioles pet calendar sales in 2016-17. The largest companion animal shelter in Maryland, BARCS takes in more than 11,000 dogs and cats and 1,000 wildlife and other small mammals annually. On any given day, BARCS cares for 250 or more dogs and cats in the shelter, and an additional 2,000 animals in foster care annually.