Sydney’s friends are on a mission to help children read, one “tail” at a time. For almost 8 years, Read to Sydney has been helping the children in the south Lake Community to learn to read. Not only does Sydney’s friends visit local schools and libraries, they also donate books to public and school libraries through the literacy program.

Read to Sydney is a local non-profit that encourages children to read for fun. Thom Battisto, the founder of Read to Sydney, donated dozens of books on April 4 to the Cooper Memorial Library and Amy Stultz, the head of youth services at the branch, has distributed the books.

Children can meet Toby and read to him on some Saturdays and on some Thursdays during the summer. Call the library at 352-536-2275 for details.


Thom and his service dog Toby recently read with two elementary school classes.  The students were able to interact with Toby the therapy dog while reading. The students read “Sidney Finds a Job” then read several of the more than 35 books that the organization donated to the classes.

Visit and click on the events page to see the monthly events.

If you would like one of Sydney’s friends to visit your child’s school and donate books, contact  407-247-8595