Horace Mann Elementary first graders traveled Friday to C-Bar Horsemanship, an educational and therapeutic ranch, for an outdoor learning experience.

Horace Mann Elementary first graders traveled Friday to C-Bar Horsemanship, an educational and therapeutic ranch, for an outdoor learning experience.

The afternoon concluded the six-week Horse Tales literacy program. C-Bar Horsemanship’s Charla Bundy said the Florida-based project is curriculum focused.

“The goal of the program is to motivate first graders with the love of learning and the love of reading,” she explained.

With collaboration from book sponsor Avedis Foundation, books were distributed in March. First grade teacher Bobbie Pinkston said the 57 first graders then partnered with fifth-grade student reading buddies in preparation for the fieldtrip.

Friday, the result of that hard work was on display.

“The fieldtrip [Friday] was the final hoopla,” Pinkston detailed, adding students rotated through stations. “They got to read their book to a horse, there were horseshoe tosses and they groomed a horse.”

Student volunteers from Oklahoma Baptist University assisted as children participated in equine-centered activities. Pinkston noted the impact of animal integration.

“Some of these kids are from the city and this was their first time to touch a horse,” she said. “It’s a different world for them.”

As the literacy fieldtrip came to an end, students received a certificate and sequel to the first book.

“It was awesome,” Pinkston said in review of the program. “The kids really enjoyed it.”

For more information about the program, visit www.horsetalesliteracy.org.