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A Reader's Best Friend

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Video by Joe O'Neill 

Therapy Dog Makes Reading Fun for Local Students

Professor of Psychology Marie Helweg-Larsen—along with her dog, Mia—works to improve the reading skills of elementary school students by making them feel comfortable reading aloud. Mia, a three-year-old Australian shepherd, is a therapy dog, and the pair make frequent visits to a YWCA after-school program in Carlisle, where children read to Mia, who has been trained for the task.

Reading to a group of people can be an anxiety-producing activity, but Helweg-Larsen says the one-on-one experience makes reading aloud fun and is calming for the young readers.

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Published October 28, 2015