On Thursday April 22, 2010, The Black Stallion Literacy Foundation hosted the “2nd Touch” after completion of the 1st book “Little Black, A Pony”, a reading program with six AISD elementary schools, primarily from East Austin. The event was held at the Travis County Expo Center and was an all day event. It was a field trip for the children and a day to get out of the classroom and participate in the 2nd touch phase of a reading program. In this phase the kids would go through different stations on horse care activities covered such as, grooming, tack, shoeing, feeding, and so forth. Then the kids were able to sit on bales of hay and read from one of two the books they were given to 2 horses available at the Reading stations that represented the horses in the book – Big Red and Little Black. The children were allowed to touch the horse after they read to them.
Sally Iwanski, co-founder of Minis and friends and Sherry Montoya were there to lend support and volunteer to this wonderful cause of reading education of these East Austin schools. Sally was a guide and directed the children where to go and taking them successfully through all aspects of their equine experience. Sherry taught the grooming class and really had the children wanting to learn more as it was a very interacting hands-on class.
The children read the book “Little Black, A Pony” and were deeply touched by the story of Little Black and Big Red and their adventures on a little boy’s farm. Little Black had such a heart and strong will he wanted to be just like Big Red. But in the end when the boy was in big trouble – it was his dear friend Little Black that came to his rescue. Minis and Friends will be using the BSFP’s model for the reading program only using miniature horses during reading instead of big horses. Sally and Sherry were there not only volunteering but there to observe and learn everything they could in a day and how we may incorporate it into our own program as we bring books and the love of reading to the kids at the shelters.
Minis and Friends is very honored and proud to be a beta model for adding to the Black Stallion Literacy Foundation a new program entirely with their miniature horses. Sally contacted the Florida based Foundation in February 2010 to see how we could bring the program to the children we visit at the Shelters and Residential Treatment Centers we visit on weekends. These kids attend charter schools or on-site schools and are not in the public school system. We are already scheduling with our contacts and in the next 2 weeks will visit with them to explain the program and how another unique equine experience can be brought to these children as an alternate learning source for reading – the basis of all learning starts with reading.
Our special program with the Black Stallion Foundation will entail a summer camp program. This is a partially funded program through the Black Stallion Foundation in which the child will receive two books by the author Walter Farley, “Little Black, A Pony”and “Little Black Goes to the Circus”. The shelters will be asked to fund the remaining $10 per child which covers the books and a curriculum of educational activities. There are two stages to the program the second ending in a field trip to a ranch as a hands-on educational field trip. Minis and Friends would love to find corporations to sponsor this program to provide a grant so that we could gift the children at the shelters these 2 books and some horse related encouragement awards (such as horse coloring books, bookmarks, t-shirts, etc.) during the Camp timeframe. ( Interested sponsors – please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org)
To Donate to Minis and Friends for the Shelter Reading Program – please visit our website for PayPal link or mail to: Minis and Friends, P.O. Box 91704, Austin, TX 78709