A Special Place to Go to School

“Just wanted to let you know that I’m graduating today and just wanted to thank you so so much for all the help you gave me with school…. There’s absolutely no way I would be where I am today without all your help and support, and I definitely wouldn’t be walking across that stage. I’m so grateful that God put you in my life.”

The Problem

So many students struggle with school.  The National Education Association’s Twelve Point Plan for Reducing the School Dropout Rate pinpoints “community-based, real-world learning experiences for students” and involvement in small after school groups as a key factor in increasing the rate of high school graduation.

The Solution

Brook Hill Farm’s unique school utilizes Equine Assisted Learning in Education combined with the Virtual Virginia curriculum to provide just such an experience for at-risk youth.

Schooling with Horses accepts youth ages 14-18 from Lynchburg City and surrounding counties. The teens are from various backgrounds, some disadvantaged or abused, while others have learning, emotional, or physical disabilities.  Many just cannot succeed in a traditional school environment.

Participants follow a program with rescue horses that instills resilience, including self-confidence, a strong sense of personal responsibility, recognition of the value of teamwork, and real-life workplace skills. This is accomplished through a bond of trust with a horse whose background is, too often, just as painful as their own.

The youth come to the farm for regular school, 5 days a week for 180 days.  A licensed teacher runs the one-room classroom, helping everyone with their schoolwork.  Many times academic content is reviewed in the riding arena!

Each student gets a horse to call their own.  They participate in equine assisted learning each day, riding and learning more about themselves and how to cope with their problems preventing them from attending school.

College interns, earning college credit from local universities, serve as mentors. These role models promote the value of education, healthy lifestyle choices, and hard work in a safe, supportive family setting.

Through hard work and love, the youth care for and heal their rescue horses, and, very often, find healing themselves.  Since the program’s inception in 2002, the school has a 100% graduation rate from high school!

Better yet, all of the graduates, have gone on to further their education!  We are presently in the process of publishing research about the success of this program!

A Typical School Day

Schoolwork 8:30 – 12:30

  • Each child participates in the Virtual Virginia Curriculum.
  • Daily schoolwork is supervised and taught by a Licensed Teacher.
  • Lunch at 12:30.

Daily Horse Activities 1:30 – 3:00

  • Riding Instruction.
  • Equine Assisted Learning with certified instructors for personal growth.
  • Weekly Equine Science classes.
  • Hands-on work in the Equine Lab.

If you would like more information about this program or any of the other Equine Assisted Services we offer please email us at secretary@brookhillfarm.org