The local Scouting Council coordinated a program between City Ranch and five of the schools in Baltimore area. City Ranch is an organization that brings horses into inner city areas so that kids can get exposure to horseback riding, an activity they might otherwise not be exposed to on such a personal level. The goal is (as quoted from the City Ranch website) “to develop positive character in children through horsemanship and bring the joy of horseback riding to the urban environment”.
The program unofficially began in mid-April with a less formal meet and greet between the horses and the interested students of each of the schools. Students were required to voice an interest and must be recommended for the program by their teachers. Viewing their interaction with the horses was final step in the program selection process. During this program, students must maintain a B grade level and demonstrate positive behavior in the classroom, demonstrating that the additional activity is not detrimental to their everyday schoolwork.
The City Ranch program will run through mid-June, and will take place one day a week for each of the schools. During which time, the students will learn the fundamentals of horsemanship and will continue to build on each lesson the following week. The methodology (according to the City Ranch website) demonstrates the need for reading and math skills as well as critical thinking and problem solving skills. It encourages continued learning, self-discipline, and character building, all of which will help the children achieve their goals and grow into competent, driven individuals.