The first day of the schoolyear for Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS) on Wednesday, August 15, marks the start a unique program called The STABLES, which incorporates horses in the curriculum. Located at Central Kentucky Riding for Hope, which offers equine-assisted activities and therapies at the Kentucky Horse Park, The STABLES is for students in grades 7-12 who struggle with academics or vocational skills and need additional support in a more individualized setting. The STABLES allows students to participate in a work program, recover credits and take ownership of their education.“The goal is to help the students successfully transition to employment, post-secondary education or back into their home high school,” CKRH Executive Director Pat Kline said. “This program represents an exciting challenge for us, and we are confident these students will benefit from an environment that will enable them to work with horses.” “The STABLES will provide an amazing learning opportunity for our students, and we could not be more excited to launch this new venture with Central Kentucky Riding for Hope,” said Fayette County Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton. “This is an example of the kind of partnerships our school district hopes to build as we seek to meet the individual needs of every single student we serve.”The STABLES, which will use classrooms and designated common areas at CKRH, will offer an academic setting while addressing students’ mental health and behavioral barriers to learning. The academic focus will remain social studies, math, English and science; however, the application aspect at CKRH will involve job responsibilities, mentorships, job shadowing and exposing students to real work. Students will have a daily equine component that includes learning about the care and management of CKRH's herd of therapy horses, the CKRH facility and the equine industry. Opportunities for students will include animal care, showmanship, construction, culinary programming, administrative assistance, service industry, filming and task analysis of problems. The STABLES replaces the FCPS' Rebound and AIM programs. CKRH, which has accommodated small groups of AIM and Rebound Students for the past two years, has written the curriculum and syllabus for all daily equine-related programming in The STABLES. The FCPS staff from those programs will relocate to CKRH, and CKRH will provide necessary staff support. “Fayette County Board of Education has embraced forward thinking in encouraging our partnership,” said Rachel Baker, Director of The STABLES program. “My staff is so excited to be able to encourage and educate students with such a fresh new perspective. We know we are part of a true community partnership which allows our students, and in the future many schools in Fayette County, the opportunity to really experience education beyond the classroom while investing in the heart of their community.”About CKRHCentral Kentucky Riding for Hope, founded in 1981, is dedicated to enriching the community by improving the quality of life and the health of people of all ages with special physical, cognitive, emotional and social needs through therapeutic activities with the horse. A PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center, CKRH offers year-round activities, including a program for military veterans called Horses for Heroes. To learn more, visit www.CKRH.org and find CKRH on Facebook.# # #ContactPat Kline, Executive DirectorCentral Kentucky Riding for Hope (CKRH)(859) 231-7066
Photo by Brian Roberts
LEXINGTON, Ky (Dec. 15, 2011) - The Kentucky Horse Park is proud to announce its expanded Kentucky Horse Park Literacy Program (KHPLP), which combines horse-themed books and experiences with live horses to inspire a life-long love of horses and reading.
Formerly known as the Black Stallion Literacy Project, the program has already distributed in excess of 15,000 books to more than 10,000 first- and fourth- grade children in its first two years. Now operating as the Kentucky Horse Park Literacy Program, it will expand to other grades to broaden literacy and the love of horses to a greater number of schools in more counties.
This year, the program has already introduced "War Horse" by Michael Morpurgo, prior to the opening of the film based on the book. The program also will include Meghan McCarthy's "Seabiscuit, the Wonder Horse" for younger children. "We love children. We love horses. And in Kentucky we need them both to succeed, so we are delighted to be able to expand our Kentucky Horse Park Literacy Program which will allow us to reach out to far more children across the Commonwealth," said Mollie Jameson, volunteer chair for KHPLP.
"Literacy and horses are each vital to Kentucky's future," said Kentucky Horse Park Executive Director John Nicholson. "In our Kentucky Horse Park Literacy Program, not only do children develop a love of reading, but we also hope that they will begin to appreciate the tremendous gift that they have inherited as heirs of the Horse Capital of the World.
"We are especially pleased to include 'War Horse' this year. It's a wonderful tale of honor, courage, nobility, duty and sacrifice on the parts of both the people and the horses in the story. And with Steven Spielberg's movie - based on the book - coming out soon, we know that the books will be a big hit with school-age readers."
Books for first graders will be delivered to participating schools by one of the Kentucky Horse Park's resident horses in February and March. Once the children have each taken a turn meeting the horse in person, each is given "Seabiscuit the Wonder Horse" by Meghan McCarthy, to read and keep. After reading the book, most classes will visit the Kentucky Horse Park on April 10. They will watch a live reenactment of the famous Seabiscuit/War Admiral match race, including music, live horses, real jockeys, period costumes, antique cars, award ceremony and paddock scene. They will also be invited to visit the gravesite of the real War Admiral, who is buried at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Fourth-grade students in Fayette, Woodford, Bourbon, Grant, Scott, Clark and Madison counties have already received 4,500 copies of Michael Morpurgo's "War Horse" book. On March 29 in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park, these fourth-graders will enjoy a live equine production. They will also have the option of touring the blockbuster exhibition, "The Horse," in the International Museum of the Horse, a Smithsonian Affiliate, at a special discounted school rate.
The KHPLP has already reached out to share the love of reading and horses to children at the UKHealthCare Kentucky Children's Hospital. Also, 2120 books recently were delivered to seven elementary schools in Clay County, where every child in kindergarten to sixth grade received an age-appropriate book published by Scholastic. Toys for Tots received 600 books written by Walter Farley for its Christmas drive in Scott County, and the Blue Grass Farms Charities received 60 books to distribute to children of local horse farm workers.
The Kentucky Horse Park Literacy Program is funded entirely through private donations and led by a dedicated group of community volunteers. The program's 2011-2012 sponsors include: Kentucky Bank, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, UKHealthCare Kentucky Children's Hospital, Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, PNC Bank, The Little Foundation, Kentucky Horse Park Foundation, and other generous donors.
For more information contact Mollie Jameson, 859-509-1915 or email
Editor's Note: Watch a short video overview of the program: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2fGTmyBLq0&;feature=youtu.be