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BARK If You Love Reading--or Cupcakes

Fund-raising is just the frosting on top as Naples students meet therapy dogs and have do-it-yourself dessert.

It was cupcake-decorating-for-a-cause at Naples Bayside Academy on Wednesday, as a program that promotes reading -- through the use of therapy dogs -- held a fund-raiser at the elementary school. The BARK (Beach Animals Reading with Kids) program is a volunteer effort in which certified therapy dogs help grade-school-age students increase reading skills and confidence. (The dogs get always-welcome attention in return.) Evidence in a study last year at UC Davis suggests that this kind of program improved reading skills by as much as 30 percent. The photographic evidence suggests that this week's event was a hit with kids and canines alike. The cupcakes and toppings came courtesy of Miss Priss Cupcakes.

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