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Cognitive Enrichment
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Cognitive Enrichment

Should Supplemental, After-School Programs Reinforce School Performance?

All of us here at ETA believe that we must do our part to enhance the academic performance of our students. Sadly, only a third of elementary and middle-school students are competent in reading, math, and science. Compared to peers in other industrial countries, American 15-year-olds rank 14th. in reading, 25th. in math, and 17th. in science. Fewer than 5% of college students graduate with engineering degrees, a vital degree that offers high salaries, almost 100% job placement post-college, and is vital to the U.S.'s industrial output. We are convinced here at ETA that a quality after-school program such as ETA should supplement and enhance the work of the educators and families.

Cognitive art

Why Does ETA stock a 1,000+ book Lending Library on horses, ponies, cats, dogs, and wild animals? Why does ETA assign two to seven stimulating, disability-appropriate, and age-appropriate books per Quarter to each of its clients?

As professional educators, ETA's Director and Instructors hope to nourish the whole rider, and help develop true horsepeople, not just riders. Because we all learn more quickly and more deeply if we understand why we are doing what we are doing, ETA uses a mix of assigned texts that dovetail with the rider's academic needs, as defined by the client, if he/she is able, by parents, the school, outside therapists, and others. We help reinforce academic skills, life skills, the building blocks to reading, verbal skills, math skills, spatial relationships, and so forth in each lesson, as defined by the goals established by the rider, his/her family, educators, and support services. Safety is enhanced for each rider, as the rider learns the theory, and progress toward greater fine and motor skills, as well as emotional control, are enhanced as well through improved understanding. Two specific NARHA/PATH Int'l. programs have been developed for our clients. They are taught here at ETA with our own formal curriculum...

Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL):

EFL includes equine activities incorporating the experience of equine/human interaction in any environment of learning or self-discovery. EFL promotes personal exploration of feelings and behaviors in an equine-related educational format. It is conducted by a NARHA/PATH certified instructor, under the direction of Carol Rae Hansen, Ph.D., ETA’s Director, who received her Ph.D. from Harvard University in l985. Goals may be related to enhanced appreciation of horsemanship, pasture management, stable management, equine-human relations, self-improvement, social interaction, and or education. A detailed educational plan and curriculum is described separately.

Therapeutic Horsemanship:

These are equine activities organized and taught by knowledgeable, skilled and Certified NARHA/PATH instructors offered to people with disabilities or diverse needs. Students progress in equestrian skills while improving their cognitive, emotional, social and behavioral skills. Clients will all learn more about horsemanship theory through cognitive enrichment (two to seven books a Quarter), the unique relationship between equines and humans, horse handling/ground skills, stable management, pasture management, rein work, walking, trotting and or cantering (depending upon age and disability), first aide for equines, and they may also learn pre-vaulting and or pre-carriage driving. Two to seven books a Quarter are assigned to each student, with a modicum of weekly reading, including puzzles and games. An individualized exercise plan is also provided to each client, which should be done at home (or in the car) three to seven days a week. Our 1,000+ book Lending Library allows us to reinforce the 17 basic texts that we provide (and the several hundred optional texts) with a wide variety of optional volumes of specific interest to our clients, at all levels of academic capability, including the pre-Readers.

Special thanks to the following who helped with this dramatic improvement to our web site: photo credits: Robin Cooper, David Evans, Juliette Searight Evans, Carolyn Ewels, Christina Johnson, Chet Martin, Susan O'Connell, Don Rebus, Pat Sterrett; families who generously shared their photographs: the Agnews, the Atkocius and Andre families, the Berman-Fernandez family, the Coopers, the Dexters, the Searight-Evans family, Florencia Foxley, the Hansen-Gilmours, Duncan Groff, the Hauks, the Kent-Ewels, the Johnsons, the Lamas, the Lowes, the Martins, Siobhan O'Brian, the Wichmans, and many others who shared anonymously; with deepest appreciation to Andrew Gilmour for so generously supporting this web site upgrade and Grace Hansen-Gilmour for her skillful text updates and computer support. Finally, we thank Berry Thompson of aguythatcan.com, who so cheerfully helped me share the joy of our program, and who captured the essence of our mission with our new logo!

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09082015