Horse tales at Camden-Rockport Elementary
Rockport — First-graders in the After-School Enrichment Program at Camden-Rockport Elementary School have been working with ponies Zip and Faith to practice their reading skills.
The program is free to all students in the school and provides enrichment programs throughout the year. During the year, there are three sessions, which are six weeks each, said Kim Wickenden, who oversees the program at the elementary school.
First-graders have been participating in the Horse Tales Literacy Project with volunteer Sonia Theobalds of Hope.
The first week of the program, Theobalds introduced the students to Zip, a 10-year-old Shetland hackney and Faith, a 15-year-old Shetland/miniature horse cross. She also talked about horse care and gave students two books, "Little Black, A Pony" and "Little Black Goes to the Circus," both by Walter Farley, the creator of the "Black Stallion" series.
On Sept. 27, the first-graders had a chance to read the two books to the ponies.
Horse Tales Literacy Project is a partnership of educators, businesses, volunteers, educational foundations, and staff members focused on promoting literacy through the combination of live horses and classic horse literature, according to horsetalesliteracy.org.
Theobalds, a volunteer with the program, also gave a similar presentation to students at the Hope school earlier this year.
The project was conceived in 1999 by Walter Farley's son, Tim Farley, and Mark Miller, owner of Arabian Nights Dinner Attraction in Kissimmee, Fla. The two have been friends for more than 30 years and shared a common interest of encouraging children to read, according to the website.
For more information about Horse Tales, go to horsetalesliteracy.org.