BOONVILLE — First- and fourth-graders at Boonville Elementary School got a special visit from a four-legged friend last Tuesday. Victoria Shaw, owner and trainer at Astoria, Ltd. Equestrian Center, brought her horse Lady to meet the students as part of a unique literary program called Wild Horse Tales.
Shaw, along with her mother Ginny Stammetti, have worked with the school and the Boonville Public Library to offer the program.
First-graders at Boonville Elementary will receive a copy of the book “Little Black: A Pony” by Walter Farley. Fourth-graders will receive a copy of “The Black Stallion” by Walter Farley.
“There’s an unbelievable curriculum that goes with these books so they actually teach across the curriculum with this program,” Stammetti explained.
“We have partnered with the Boonville Public Library, they have purchased the books for the children,” Stammetti said. “The children actually get to keep the books, so that is wonderful.”
The children were clearly excited to see a horse up close and personal. Shaw gave the children an opportunity to ask questions about Lady and pet the horse as well.
Teacher Kristy Moxley said the program was great for her first-grade students.
“The kids see things in the books all the time, but getting to actually experience it makes it real to them,” she said.
She said while it was a fun opportunity for the kids to see a horse, the reading component of the program is especially important.
“It’s invaluable because if you get kids hooked on reading at this age they’ll hopefully be a life-long reader,” she said.
Next month the students will take a field trip to Astoria Ltd. Equestrian Center where they will get to read to the horses and learn about Arabian horses as part of Celebrate the Arabian Horse Month.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.