Horse Tales Literacy helps children discover the joys of reading and the excitement of learning through the wonders of live horses and the Black Stallion books by Walter Farley, as well as other classic horse literature.
Our goals are to spark the imagination of first grade students so they will want to learn to read, and to motivate fourth and fifth graders so they will experience the joy of reading.
Horse Tales Literacy Foundation is an innovative partnership of educators, businesses, volunteers, education foundations, and staff members focused on promoting literacy through the winning combination of live horses and classic horse literature. The program is based on classic horse books and the natural connection between children and horses.
The project was conceived in 1999 by Farley’s son, Tim (www.theblackstallion.com) and Mark Miller, owner of Arabian Nights Dinner Attraction (www.arabian-nights.com) in Kissimmee, Florida. Friends for more than 30 years, Tim and Mark share a common interest in encouraging children to read. Tim knows the influence his father’s books have had on millions of children, and Mark grew up (and remains) in the company of horses – a winning combination for a program designed to motivate children to read. The Black Stallion Literacy Foundation (BSLF) began serving children in 2000. Since then, more than 400,000 children across the United States have participated in our reading programs.
Horse Tales Literacy is presently composed of both school-based and community programs, in which activities are developed around Walter Farley’s and other classic horse literature. School-based programs consist of curriculum-based literacy programs for 1st and 4th-5th grades. Community programs are similarly curriculum-based literacy programs, but are turnkey embedded programs for after school and summer camp programs. All of the HTLP literacy programs are age-appropriate and aligned with both state and national standards in reading and other curriculum areas.
Since its inception in 1999, the BSLF and HTLP literacy programs have:
- Inspired 400,000 first and fourth-fifth grade children to read
- Grown from fewer than 5,000 students participating in Florida and Arizona in 2000, to reaching over 66,720 students in ten states across the nation
- Received recognition as a “Daily Point of Light” by President George W. Bush and has been featured on the ABC Nightly News as the “best” motivational reading program for school-aged children.
- Been recognized by The Heart of Florida United Way as a major influence on Florida’s children and literacy
- Maintained a loyal volunteer base consisting of 200 people across the country
- Been recognized by Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, who proclaimed February as Black Stallion Literacy Month
- Established partnerships with many local and national companies including Wal-Mart, Ariat and Millcreek Manufacturing
- Established partnerships with equine associations and therapeutic riding centers including Vinceremos, Reno Rodeo Association, and Homestead Rodeo Association to help keep costs down
In addition, Horse Tales Literacy Project:
- Is working to develop Community Programs in After School and Summer Camp programs
- Has established partnerships with the YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and other youth organizations to introduce turnkey embedded literacy programs