Finding opportunities within the community that are engaging for our entire class of students with unique and diverse learning needs can be challenging. Walkabout Farm, however, can accommodate people of all ages and abilities. Jenn Semach and her team of volunteers believe in breaking down barriers and promoting inclusion within the community.
For our students, Walkabout is not only therapeutic in nature, but it is also an excellent work opportunity. Every Monday, the students happily don their Walkabout Farm uniforms and can’t wait to bond with the animals, learn how to care for them, and hone their horseback riding skills. Watching our students learn a brand new skill set that we couldn’t otherwise teach within the confines of a classroom has been amazing! Walkabout is a safe space to take risks and try new things; as a result, each visit bolsters self-esteem.
We have an amazing principal, Chris Boulay, who is always eager to back the initiatives of the Practical Academic and Life Skills team. We’re grateful that he could secure the funding we needed for transportation. We also can’t thank enough Jenn – and her team of volunteers – for providing our class with this memorable experience.
“It’s been a dream come true to offer alternative equine and nature based therapies to people in our community who have special needs and considerations, especially our youth,” said Jenn.
Many of our students will continue to visit Walkabout long after graduating.
As Walkabout Farm Therapeutic Riding Association Inc. relies heavily upon donations to run programs and care for the horses, any contributions help the organization immensely. Walkabout is able to give charitable tax receipts for both monetary and in-kind donations. For more information visit www.walkaboutfarmtra.com.
Stacey Ingram, Teacher of Practical Academic and Life Skills at Haliburton Highlands Secondary School