Many youngsters, particularly boys, who struggle to read find that much of the reading material available is not interesting to them.
Organizers of “Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida!” a statewide reading initiative that runs from Jan. 23 to 27, are trying to keep that divide in mind. A kickoff event held at Sadler Elementary in Orange County earlier this month involved a visit by a race car themed with this year’s “Take the Lead and Read” motif.
And on Tuesday, the Arabian Nights Dinner Theater in Kissimmee will be hosting first-graders from Ivey Lane Elementary School in Orange County to meet the Black Stallion. (They’ll also get to see the ”Take the Lead and Read” race car).
As part of the Horse Tales Literacy Project, students got to meet a horse at their school before they started to read a book about horses. According to Lindsey Von Broembsen with Horse Tales Literacy, a nonprofit that uses horses to encourage reading, the Ivey Lane students have read “Little Black, A Pony” by Walter Farley.
The students will get to learn about horse care at the Arabian Nights event. They will meet four horses to learn about horseshoes, feed/hay, grooming and tack (saddles and bridles). The students also have the opportunity to read to a horse at each station.
“Letting them see them as real horses connects them to what they are reading and motivates them to read,” Von Broembsen said.
One of my favorite books about literacy, “Reading Don’t Fix No Chevys” by Michael Smith, makes the point that students, particularly boys and struggling readers, will make the effort to read if they connect with a book. Initiatives like this are perfectly aligned to get youngsters interested in reading.
Hey there cowpokes! Time to saddle up once again and head out for the ride across the nation. Thought you’d like to see the line up for the 2009 Black Stallion Literacy Foundation road show … coming to an arena near you.
Oh yeah, the pictures are of my daughter, Miranda, in Ecuador doing some environmental research on the Galapagos islands … she’s in college at Santa Clara … go Miranda Farley!