PonyTales - Reading with Rescues
Gentle Spirit Horses Rescue is excited to offer a brand new program for local youth: introducing Pony Tales, a Reading with Rescues program. Did you know that 31% of South Dakota's 4th grade students failed to test at a basic level in reading in 2019? Additionally, 43% of adults with low literacy scores live in poverty.
Students from Kindergarten to 8th grade are invited to the rescue, located between Scotland and Tyndall, SD, to read to a pony, donkey, or horse for approximately 30 minutes. Students can bring their own book or chose one from our donated library.
After reading, the student will be allowed approximately 15 minutes to groom, pet, and generally hang out with their reading partner. Questions are encouraged!
- Studies have shown when reading is fun, children are more willing to do it, and the more a child reads, the better they do in school.
- Testing shows a strong correlation with the amount of time a child reads and how they perform on reading tests.
- Reading to the horses - who show unconditional love and non-judgmental enthusiasm - will make reading fun for children who may otherwise become frustrated and refuse to read.
- Older students can read to an adoptable horse, helping to socialize them and prepare them for adoption.
Each session will take place on Monday evenings from March through November from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Each session is limited to 12 students, and a parent or guardian must be present for every four children. A short review of farm rules, safety and expectations will start each session, followed by approximately 30 minutes of reading and 15 minutes of horse petting/grooming. Children should wear closed-toed shoes.
A $5 donation per child is appreciated but not required.
Are you a member of a community group that would like to learn more about our organization and read to the horses? We would be happy to work with you to set up your own session. Please use our contact form to get in touch!