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New TEACH Program Launches Using Horses to Promote Learning Readiness at Local Preschool

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

Collierville, TN – This fall 40 students from Perea Preschool in the Klondike neighborhood in North Memphis are participating in Southern Reins Center for Equine Therapy’s new TEACH Program. The TEACH Program (Therapy and Education Activities for Children with Horses) incorporates equine-facilitated learning to improve literacy and learning readiness, and contribute to the social and emotional health of children ages 3-5.

Southern Reins is collaborating with Perea Preschool for the Pilot Program with students ages 3-4. In collaboration with Perea educators and incorporating Tennessee Academic Standards, the lesson curriculum provides an equine-facilitated educational environment with a hands-on approach to reading, science, geography, social studies, and math. The program consists of six consecutive weekly classroom visits and interactions with a therapy pony whose small size and gentle nature makes the perfect partner to provide a new and unique approach to engaging students in learning readiness to promote educational goal achievement. The TEACH Program is conducted under the direct supervision of a PATH Intl. Registered Instructor and in collaboration with education professionals at Perea Schools.

The real star of the program is Clyde, a seven-year-old United Kingdom Shetland pony who visits the students each week as part of the curriculum. The students read books written for the program such as Go Clyde Go and Clyde Can Share. The curriculum is focused on social-emotional learning to prepare students to be successful in kindergarten and beyond.

"When we think about social-emotional learning, the Schools of Perea are the trailblazer in the Klondike/Smokey City area, ensuring that students are equipped with the social skills needed to thrive in today's society. Social-emotional learning is in our DNA, starting in PK3 to 4th Grade. When the opportunity came for Southern Reins to partner with our preschool, it was an opportunity worth having for our students. Our goal is to provide an innovative and unique way to increase literacy and learning while creating new experiences for our students and families. The TEACH Program does this and more!" Giavante Douglas, Senior Director of Family Engagement, Perea Schools.

The TEACH Program is generously funded by the Urban Child Institute, First Horizon Foundation, FedEx Freight, and the Carnival Memphis Children’s Charity Initiative.

About Southern Reins Center for Equine Therapy - Southern Reins was founded in 2015 to provide equine-assisted services to help individuals with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities and hardship. We serve children and adults with disabilities such as Down syndrome, autism, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, amputation, cognitive and physical disabilities, attention deficit disorder, and more. We are the only Premier Accredited Center in greater Memphis area recognized by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) representing the highest industry standards for safety, program quality, and facility operations to support people with special needs. Southern Reins is a nonprofit organization, EIN 47-4647784. To learn more, visit or call 901-290-1011.

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