GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – There are still a few days left in March, which means there is still time to celebrate March is Reading Month.  This month is dedicated to reading in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday.  The month is supposed to motivate all Americans to read.  Reading has so many lasting benefits, including increased brain function, memory, diction and empathy as well as a great way to reduce stress.  So, what does a horse have to do with National Reading Month?  Well, our friends at the Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding would say a lot.

To celebrate March is Reading Month, Maranda brought her special friend Flika to Cummings Elementary School.  Maranda read the story “Molly the Pony” by Pam Kaster.  The book is a true story about Molly the Pony who was affected during Hurricane Katrina, losing a leg and becoming a therapy horse.  That is when the kids got to meet Flika.  Flika and Molly both share a commonality in helping others by being therapy horses.  She helps promote literacy as the kids got to read along with Flika who is trained to be patient and a great listener.

Flika was born in 2007.  She is a miniature horse that is 30 inches tall and 250 pounds.  Flika visits kids in schools, libraries and nursing homes.  Another nice thing about Flika is since she is only 30 inches tall, she is wheelchair accessible.

Cummings Elementary School is always looking for ways to promote literacy and make it fun for its students. 

Since 1990, the Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding has helped and touched the lives of thousands of individuals and their families.  What makes horseback riding a great medium for therapy is how it transports individuals with special needs to an entirely different world.  Offering a new perspective on life, horses are great therapy animals and offer a natural setting.  There are so many physical, mental, social and emotional benefits to horseback riding.  Some of these include balance, posture, reflexes, motor skills and mental improvements.

Without volunteers, the Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding would not be able to help and impact the lives of so many.  You can learn the different ways you can get involved here.