Farnam Helps Support the 2005 Black Stallion Literacy Project: National Horse Products Company Creates Educational Equine Web Site


Farnam Horse Products and the Black Stallion Literacy Project have partnered to help inspire kids to read while learning about the world of horses. The BSLP reaches grade school children nationally through the enchanting Black Stallion books by Walter Farley and horse show extravaganzas. Farnam chose to support the program by sponsoring bookmarks distributed to participating Arizona grade schools, and creating an educational equine Web site, www.farnamkids.com , for use by teachers and the children.

The BSLP curriculum runs from January through March each year, culminating with professional performances that reflect the Black Stallion story in the states that utilize the program. It will serve more than 50,000 students in Arizona, Florida, Arkansas and Texas. In addition to classroom work and special horse shows, the BSLP also offers workshops for teachers and students, including a “first touch” program that brings first graders in close contact with horses.

“We're very happy to be a part of such an important and innovative approach to youth literacy—the project taps into the imagination and curiosity of children. Sharing our horse expertise via a Web learning tool is a natural enhancement of the curriculum and its use of a classic horse tale,” said Chris Jacobi, president of Farnam Horse Products.

Mark Miller, co-founder of the BSLP, said the idea behind the program is to prompt children to read by appealing to their sense of fun and adventure.

“Nothing correlates with success like literacy, and it is therefore critical that children embrace it early in their education,” he said. “There's an old saying in the horse world that you can lead a horse to water but can't make him drink. You can't just tell children to read, you must motivate them to love it at a young age.”

The Black Stallion is the hero of a series containing more than 27 books that have sold more than 100 million copies in 21 languages worldwide. The Black Stallion has been immortalized before 1 billion people on film, and the New York Times called this horse “the most famous fictional horse of the last century.”

The Farnamkids.com Web site features information and images to teach kids all about horses. It includes a section detailing various horse disciplines (courtesy of many Farnam equestrians who contributed to the site), as well as sections on horse care, tack, health, and more. The site also includes interactive educational games, a glossary of equine terms, and listings of horse clubs and associations for more learning. Young Rider magazine contributed several pieces to the site as well.

Arizona BSLP Professional Performances

In Arizona, more than 15,000 students and teachers are enrolled in the BSLP program. The 2005 BSLP professional “Arabian Nights” performance in Arizona will take place at the Glendale Arena March 2nd, beginning at 10:45 a.m. The event is expected to draw 8500+ students, teachers, administrators and representatives from various Arizona communities that participate in the project. Speakers will include Deputy State Superintendent Tacy Ashby and Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs.

Other performances will be held March 4 th in Flagstaff and March 8 th in Tucson.

For more information about Farnam Horse Products, in the United States call toll free at (800) 234-2269 or direct at (602) 285-1660, or go to www.farnamhorse.com on the Internet. Founded in 1946, Farnam Companies, Inc., is a privately held company and a leader in the animal health products industry.

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