ANCHORAGE — Balancing a book on her lap, 6-year-old Leighlyn Hilst pointed at each word on the page, reading aloud.
When she stumbled, her grandmother, Ruth Curtis, helped her sound it out. That was a different kind of help than she could get from the other listener: a brownish-gold Labrador mix named Pagan. Pagan, a foot away, lay on her side and half-closed her eyes in calm encouragement.
Once a month, kids from kindergarten to fourth grade sit on the carpeted steps of the story theater on the second floor of Loussac Library and read out loud to dogs.