Founded by Dr. Michele Pickel Ph.D., Horse Powered Reading (HPR) is a new way of integrating social-emotional learning with academics.
Students see and experience reading with their entire mind, body and emotions by creating metaphors for the skills involved in reading.
During HPR sessions, issues affecting learning are made visible by identifying obstacles (through the use of toys and props) that get in the way of understanding.
Horse Powered Reading is a form of experiential learning which focuses on the learning process for
the individual. The benefit is that students are allowed to make discoveries and experiment with knowledge firsthand.
Issues getting in the way of academic and social emotional growth are addressed in the moment.
This allows students a chance to reflect on what they are experiencing and provides an opportunity to create new patterns of learning in a supported environment.
Find out more about the concept directly from the founder, who is a Professor at Concordia University, St Paul, MN (USA) as well as an Advanced Certified Equine Specialist through the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA).
To assist children and students in a different, meaningful and unique way, I have learned the methodology behind Horse Powered Reading directly from Dr. Michele Pickel.
It is a lovely program that teaches ALL skills needed in school and university:
Dr. Michele's research has discovered that it only takes a few key reading skills combined with motivation, self-efficacy/confidence, and persistence, all of which are taught by the horses, to create an exponential growth in learning.
Often, a few sessions with the horses can be the ice-breaker to develop the love for reading in kids.
Horse Powered Reading can be included in short 30 min sessions for children who are just in KG and starting to decipher letters and learn sounds, all the way up to grade 12 / 13 or even beyond, at which point we will combine the reading program with soft skills and leadership training.
The learning is best in small groups or even individual classes - hence every sessions is customized.
For school field trips and larger groups, we will divide them into different teams working simultaneously on a variety of activities.