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.”
Central 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.
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Pat Kline, Executive Director
Central Kentucky Riding for Hope (CKRH)
Photo by Brian Roberts