On May 9th 2014 True Blue Animal Rescue had some visitors from Alton Elementary School. Second grade classes were invited to T-bar as a field trip to learn more about animal care and rescue. While the forecast called for a lot of rain the skies mercifully held off hours after the kids left.
While on their tour of True Blue Animal Rescue the kids learned about dog and horse care. Melanie DeAeth made sure to explain to kids the difference between a healthy animal and one that is in need of care or even food. Having kids at T-bar is one of the core missions of the rescue group because as a teacher Melanie understands that education is the key to stopping animal abuse and neglect towards animals. Teaching kids how to help animals that may need help is a lesson close to the T-bar founder’s heart. The children saw the steps to helping animals, which were to tell an adult or call T-bar for help. The kids were then read a story about a horse that is in need only to be saved by one brave little girl.
Once the lesson on how to help animals was covered the kids got to meet a few of the T-bar camp horses. First to say hello to the kids was Jasmine. Jasmine is a horse that can no longer see due to being hit by lightning. Melanie let the kids observe the horse before letting them know she was blind. As always the children were in awe of her condition and how beautiful Jasmine is. Not to mention they had the joy of feeding her some treats! The next camp horse to make an appearance was Noel. Volunteer Teresa Gaskamp told the children that Noel was a horse that was rescued around Christmas time and that was why she was named Noel! The kids not only have Noel treats but also learned how to brush a horse. Each taking a turn and learning the safe places to stand near a horse and how to hold the brush against the animal.
After the grooming the kids had craft time, making Rhythm Beads. Melanie explained to the kids that the beads were a Native American tool used to keep the horses calm. The string of beads had tiny bells that would jungle as the horses walked. Rhythm was believed by the Indians to keep evil spirits and misfortune away, but are still used today used because the sound of the bells helps a horse keep a good pace. As they made their craft each Alton student got once piece of candy but the fun was not over just yet.
Dale DeAeth took the kids on a hay ride around the True Blue Animal Rescue farm showing them the sights while they had fun bouncing along. After the ride Dale took the kids to meet the horses that are kept in the large pasture since the herd had come up to the fence to see what was going on. He pointed out to the kids each horse and told them their names. By the time the day was over the thunder and rain started as the last group of kids boarded the bus back to the school.
Days when children come out to learn and see about the animals of T-bar are special days to the volunteers. Teaching kids that it is ok to care about animals and each other is a life lesson that Melanie and the rest of the staff hope they will carry in their hearts and minds for years to come.
If you are interested in bringing a group to TBAR to learn about the importance of animal care and compassion, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (936) 878-2349. Please also remember that we have our Summer ABLE Read-to-Ride program now accepting registration if you would like to bring a child or two out for a 30-minute ride or experience this July! Click here for the poster.
*Update* The Alton field trip kids sent Thank You cards to TBAR and have expressed how much they loved meeting the animals and learning at TBAR!