Therapy dogs help children overcome reading anxiety

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FARMVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Support dogs are being used to help children who struggle in reading at the Farmville Public Library.

Millie, a Dutch Shepherd, and Ollie, a Cocker Spaniel, are therapy dogs.

Children read to their new fluffy friends out loud.

Children’s librarian Connie Widney says it helps children who are usually anxious about reading, especially if they have a bad experience with it in class.

“Gives them a confidence that they are lacking, and once that confidence is there, then they discover how much fun it is to read,” Widney says. “Of course they have the dog there. They can pet the dog while they are reading, so it is a real enjoyable experience.”

Parents tell Widney that reading to the dogs significantly improves their children’s reading.

The next session with Ollie is Saturday at 10 a.m.

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