pyrsandponies: (Joy)
[livejournal.com profile] kerlin and I have been reminiscing today. About Walter Farley's Black Stallion series of books. And, as I was looking up some info related to our conversation, I discovered The Black Stallion Literacy Project

The first grade program instills the love of reading in first grade students by combining a live horse experience with the reading of Walter Farley's books Little Black, A Pony and Little Black Goes to the Circus.

On the opening day of the program, children are taken outside when the horses arrive. After a brief introduction to the horses, the students are invited to come and pet the horse. As soon as they have touched the horse, they are given their hard covered book. They are told that when they learn to read the book, they will be taken on a field trip to spend a morning with several horses.

In approximately 30 days, they are then taken for their "second touch", where they will learn about feeding, grooming, shoeing and tacking horses. During this trip, each student will have the opportunity to read to one of the horses, reinforcing the pride in their accomplishment. Students will then receive a copy of Little Black Goes to the Circus after returning from their field trip.

[...]

The fourth grade program promotes the joy of reading while improving comprehension. It is well documented that the improvement from basic reading to the ability to read a "chapter book" is one of the most important academic transitions in a child's education. To motivate the students to make this step, the Black Stallion Literacy Project has developed a comprehensive program involving the novel The Black Stallion, the Frances Ford Coppola movie The Black Stallion, a live equitheater performance by Arabian Nights Dinner Attraction featuring Walter Farley's Black Stallion and a curriculum that meets National and State teaching standards.

A 6'6" stand-up is provided for each class on opening day. The children are then given their copies of The Black Stallion, Hoof Notes, a description and history of the Arabian horse and a letter to parents explaining the program and encouraging their participation. Teachers are encouraged to make the BSLP a multi-disciplinary project, including reading, art, writing and even music in their classroom.

Fourth grade teachers receive the BSLP supplemental curriculum and teaching exercises at teacher workshops. This supplemental curriculum includes a book study guide for all chapters in the book, a list of horse related resources, a screen play for a portion of the movie, a story board and a host of ideas that are all adapted to fit state standards.

The program concludes with a field trip to the Arabian Nights performance, but the students' enthusiasm for reading continues long past the program. Participating schools report not only an increase in enthusiasm for required reading, but also a dramatic increase in the use of school library books.

After each program, the BSLP executive assigned to the project meets with the LEAD team to assess the program and improve the implementation for the following year.



Cool, eh?

And, I also ran across this quotation from Walter Farley:

You ought to pursue your hobby . . . not become a lawyer so you can spend your spare time pursuing your hobby.

That is indeed something worth thinking about ;)
pyrsandponies: (Joy)
The squee heard round the world (or at least in Arizona.)

First off, at lunch, I went to Chapters. where I bought Shattered Dance by our very own [livejournal.com profile] dancinghorse -- the Final book in a WONDERFUL trilogy (even if the second one WAS a middle ;P) about fat white ponies who dance ;) And war. And changing times. And stuff. There might be some romance, too. Trust me, this is worth the read!

When I went to Chapters, the book, which had only JUST been released, was NOT on the shelf, but the computer said they had 5 copies. So I found a clerk, a lovely woman who turns out to be a retired librarian. She looked it up on the computer, saw it only arrived on the 19th and figured it would be on a cart somewhere. And she helped me find it. And was rather bemused by my barely contained excitement! (I LOVE my inner child, and since she rarely visits anymore, well....;). And then she put the rest of the copies on the shelf where they BELONG!

And then, second off, I come back after lunch and follow [livejournal.com profile] lostvoice's link to Amazon.ca. Where I try one of my random "wonder if this is out on DVD yet?" searches. To find out that YES! The first season of McLeod's Daughters (a GREAT aussie tv show -- strong women, cute men, and HORSES! what more could a girl want?) is coming out -- FINALLY on Region 1 DVD. YAY! YAY! YAY! It's in the preorder stage but *SQUEE*.

And with that, I return you to your regular programming. And hand out ear plugs for those who find the squeeage a bit loud!
pyrsandponies: (Joy)
also, I MAY have finished Song of Unmaking last night. Guh. Just GUH.

HOW will I wait for September for the 3rd book in the trilogy??? HOW???? ;).

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June 2010

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