December 24, 2015 8:50 AM EST

They may not have homes for the holidays, but a group of shelter dogs living at the Humane Society of Missouri in St. Louis know there are kids out there who care.

A handful of members of Club HOPE, the Humane Society of Missouri‘s after-school club for elementary school students, helped make a difference in the lives of shelter dogs on Dec. 12 by spending an afternoon reading them books — an activity which helps socialize the dogs and prepare them for adoption.

In a YouTube clip, the dogs can be seen listening closely to the kids, who hand-picked their favorite stories to read aloud. It’s clear the program has an impact on both the dogs and kids alike.

“Our shy dogs learn to relax around new people and our high energy dogs learn that calm behavior is desirable,” says Kathy Warnick, president of the Humane Society of Missouri. “In addition, the program allows the kids to improve their reading skills by offering an easy and attentive, not to mention adorable, listening audience.”

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