Horses & Literacy

Happy Canada Day everybody! I hope you are all enjoying our country’s birthday. The Queen arrived on Parliament Hill today, wearing a red dress and a white hat bearing a red flower. The Saskatchewan Roughriders will take to the field at 5 pm CST today. And many of us will celebrate the occasion with fireworks and bar-be-qued burgers with friends. Of course, it’s hard to completely take the day off when you have horses. There are always chores to be done, no matter if it’s Christmas, your birthday or a stat holiday.

Knowing this, my lovely husband scooted me off to the city last night for a few hours for dinner and a movie. Other than for shows or really special occasions (such as my brother’s wedding), it’s difficult to get away from the farm sometimes. Both Clay and I knew that going into this lifestyle, and we signed up anyways.

Amazingly enough, I was able to acquire a couple of Eclipse movie tickets last night. The joys of living in a small(er) Canadian city mean that it is possible to procure tickets on the opening night of an anticipated block buster.

And I have to say, the movie was fantastic! Plus, Eclipse was drastically more “guy friendly” than the first two Twilight movies. Thank goodness for my poor husband – yes, I did drag him to Twilight and New Moon. (Happy wife, happy life! He says he’s the head of the family: but I’m the neck that controls the head…!)

The movie was packed with witty one-liners: although somewhat awkward, Bella’s father, Charlie, always has great quips when it comes to the best of his intentions for his daughter. And tension between Edward and Jacob makes for some pretty funny comedy.

Did I expect anything less than a fantastic performance from Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner? No, but I was a teeny bit worried the third motion picture installment in the Twilight series might not live up to the hype.

After all, who hasn’t heard someone say, “the movie wasn’t as good as the book.” However the movie, finally released into theatres yesterday, did not disappoint.

And yes, I have read all of the books. I started the first one on a summer Sunday last year and finished the entire series (the fourth book alone was 758 pages), by the following Sunday. Author, Stephanie Meyer, had me hooked, lined and sinkered. (Okay, I know the spelling is wrong here – and the cliché isn’t even correct – but in this context, it seems to work better in the past tense!)

Of course, I still had work to do during the week but somehow I managed to find time to fit the reading in. During that time, we most unfortunately had a horse come back from colic surgery. Following her rehabilitation in her stall, she needed to be walked extensively each day. Clay gave that job to me.

This is how I finished all 4 books in a week:

What a rockin' outfit, eh?

Of course, it wasn’t without a little ribbing. If my friends and family weren’t chuckling about my bookworm tendencies that week, they definitely had a good laugh at my choice of footwear and outfit combination. I really didn’t care. The Twilight saga  is a beautiful story.

But that brings me to another point – one that I’d really like to impress upon you in today’s blog. Literacy. Recently I learned of a Florida program that uses horses to make reading fun for young children. For four years now, elementary students have been traveling to the Bergeron Rodeo Arena in Davie, Florida, to read to horses. The goal of the program is to get first graders reading as early as possible. In my opinion, it’s a brilliant concept.

As some teachers have discovered, kids are nervous to read in front of their peers and especially in front of the class, but reading to a horse garners all kinds of wonderful results. For more information or if you’d like to see the CBS video and story, check out:

http://cbs4.com/video/?id=71782@wfor.dayport.com

Comments

  1. http://Valerie says

    Very, very cool Ms. Jenn – loved your outfit! Excellent work!

  2. http://Teri%20Clearwater says

    Hi Jenn,
    I was just going through the archives of your blog and I LOVE this post on Twilight!! I get all the bugging around here in regards to this topic. I too read all 4 books in a little over a week and i have a t-shirt and souvineer cup!! So i totally busted a gut with the pic of you reading and walking the horse!
    We are now friends on a new level:)
    – Teri Clearwater

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