Minnie can do tricks ... but a dog as a tutor? It's true. Little Minnie is a licensed reading therapy dog. Lisa trained Minnie to patiently sit and listen as a child reads a book to her. Minnie helps kids who may be shy or apprehensive about reading to critical adults or family members. She sits right in front of them -- and puts them at ease.
Six year old faith Welden's reading has improved since Minnie became her personal tutor. Her mother, Michele Welden, said, "I would say her phonics and the level of reading has grown tremendously."
How much does she like the program?
Michele said, "She loves it."
Her daughter, Faith, says she likes reading and Minnie never falls asleep when she reads to her. But who could blame Minnie for being a little tired. After all ... she's busy visiting schools and libraries ... updating her website and Facebook page ... and appearing in commercials and advertisements.
Lisa Saroyan believes working with Minnie helps her promote literacy ... just like her famous cousin ... author William Saroyan. Lisa Saroyan said, "It has really given me a feeling like I can give back to my community."
Lisa believes Minnie's tutoring starts with open ears and an open heart.
We salute "Minnie" and her best friend ... Lisa Saroyan ... the Action News Person of the Week. Lisa and Minnie belong to Four Paws -- the Fresno Chapter of Therapy Dogs International.