A chance meeting last summer between two passionate teachers, both horse lovers, has led to an amazing opportunity for visually impaired children to discover the world of horses.
South Florida SPCA’s Community/Outreach Coordinator, Susie Martell, and Yubeda Miah, principal at Tropical Elementary School, immediately began to plan a visit to the rescue ranch for these special children.
And after months of planning, a group of 11 blind students from Tropical Elementary School in Miami visited the South Florida SPCA on Saturday to read to rescue horses in Braille.
On Saturday, a dozen visually-impaired children from Tropical Elementary, accompanied by their parents and teachers, visited South Florida SPCA to read to the horses in Braille. In addition to reading to the rescues, the children explored the world of horses using their other senses to feel, touch and smell.
The children read to the horses in Braille and were able to touch, groom and interact with the horses. Two of the ponies, Jackie and Pirate, are also visually impaired, being blind in one eye.
Yubeda Miah, principal at Tropical Elementary, said the children prepared for the visit for months. “They’ve done a whole unit on horses, farms, caring for animals and gathering goodies to give as a ‘thank you’ to the horses for allowing them to come to the rescue ranch.”
Before the visit, the SPCA’s Susie Martell said: “Frankly, I don’t know who is more excited, me or the children.”
She said the visit combined her passion for horses as well as her passion for teaching. “It is truly a win-win experience for all involved.”
At the end of the day all the children were given a horseshoe with their names imprinted in Braille.
Founded in 1992, South Florida Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a 501c3 non-profit. It is one of the five largest, continuously operating horse and large animal rescues in the United States.