Brenda Lee, Emmett, Molly and Strawberry are the much-loved Mountaineer Therapy Dogs that come to the Philippi Public Library on the second Saturday of each month from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
This unique literacy program for school-aged children pairs the children with the dogs so children can read to them. Philippi Public Library is one of six libraries, and the most recent, that have welcomed the dogs into their early literacy programs.
"These programs are very successful," said Barbara Higgins, who owns one of the dogs. "Everyone loves interacting with the therapy dogs and children who read to them thoroughly enjoy and benefit from the experience."
The dogs which are registered and insured therapy dogs are non-judgmental friends who patiently encourage children to relax, sound out words and practice reading at a comfortable pace. Many children have benefited from improvement in reading and social skills.
Other Mountaineer Therapy Dogs owners include Nicole Klee and Rebecca Conrad.
Klee said, "The program has a calming effect on children and boosts their self-confidence." Klee, Higgins and Conrad stay by their dogs and offer help to the children reading.
The next Dog Tales session is scheduled for Saturday. Space is limited and registration and parental permission are required. For more information about Dog Tales, the Summer Reading Camps or the Children's Summer Nutrition Program, call 304-457-3495 or stop by the library.