Seventeen children and three dogs, Brenda Lee, Emmit and Molly, gathered recently at the Philippi Public Library for the first session of "Dog Tales."
This unique literacy program for school-aged children pairs the children with the Mountaineer Therapy Dogs.
"A therapy-dog reading program provides a positive and fun educational experience for children and parents," said Barbara Higgins of Mountaineer Therapy Dogs. Higgins also is the owner of Brenda Lee.
Emmit the dog listens to children read at the Philippi Public Library, as part of ‘Dog Tales.’
"They offer a calm, supportive, nonjudgmental reading friend to a child. Reading to a therapy dog can improve a child's reading skills, boost their self-confidence and build their social skills.
"As an added benefit, children can learn how to interact with a dog," Higgins said. "Mountaineer Therapy Dogs are registered and insured therapy dogs who love to listen to a good book."
"We are happy to offer this new children's literacy program at the Philippi Public Library and to partner with Mountaineer Therapy Dogs," said Library Director Judy Buckner Larry. "We hope the companionship of these dogs will build and encourage the children's love of books and animals even more."
The library will host "Dog Tales" with the Mountaineer Therapy Dogs on the second Saturday of every month from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
The next session is scheduled for April 13. Space is limited and registration and parental permission are required.
For more information about "Dog Tales" or other children's literacy programs, anyone interested can call 304-457-3495 or stop by the library.