Mountaineer Therapy Dogs Encourage Children to Read Out-Loud - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Mountaineer Therapy Dogs Encourage Children to Read Out-Loud

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Brenda Lee, a Mountaineer Therapy Dog, traveled to the Clarksburg library Monday night to 

hear a few children read out-loud.

"This is one of our newer programs here in Clarksburg and it's really building up," said 

Barbara Higgins, Mountaineer Therapy Dog owner and volunteer. 

For three years, the Mountaineer Therapy Dogs have traveled to schools and libraries 

throughout Morgantown, Shinnston, Philipi, Bridgeport, Lost Creek, and Clarksburg to 

help children with their reading skills. 

Higgins said this type of reading therapy started out as a study in the west and has ended 

up in libraries all over the world. 

"We have seen a lot of children, repeatedly, over the three years we have been doing this, 

as we visit, the children come back and the progress is outstanding," Higgins said. 

The program is designed to build confidence in children with reading issues or 

insecurities.

"It's a lot easier for them to read to the dogs," Higgins said. "They know the dog is not 

going to judge them or laugh at them."

Higgins said she enjoys seeing the children interact with Brenda Lee, a miniature poodle, 

and her friend Strawberry, an Italian greyhound.

"For a lot of children, this is the only time they get to interact with an animal," Higgins 

said. "They learn how to interact with an animal properly, how to treat them respectfully, 

and they learn just how much and animal can give to them. Something they will carry 

with them for the rest of their lives." 

Higgins said they visit the Clarksburg library once a month.

If you would like to learn more about the Mountaineer Therapy Dogs or would like 

to schedule visitations with Brenda Lee or Strawberry, you can visit their website 

www.mountaineertherapydogs.com or you can contact Barbara Higgins at (304) 368-

8946 or e-mail barbara.higgins@mountaineertherapydogs.com.