E.L.L.A. Equine Learning and Literacy Advocates Mini horse sanctuary and equine learning and literacy advocates


ELLA teaching children and young adults to read
E.L.L.A. was established in 2010 as a 501c3 non-profit corporation because the founders, Theresa and Bill Fleming, saw a two-fold benefit:
  1. a way to interest children in reading and history, and
  2. to provide a “job” for their growing herd of miniature horses and miniature donkeys.

“One child in four grows up not knowing how to read.”

Begin to Read statistics

According to First Book, a non-profit that provides new books to children in need, “one of the most important factors affecting literacy is access to books.” Along with access to books, other support help in learning/literacy is having the opportunity read to an animal whether it be a horse, dog, cat, bird, etc. and one-on-one help from a human reading tutor. Horses that call Blessing Way’s Mini Ranch their home and who are used by E.L.L.A. have found a lifelong home with the Flemings for various reasons: some have come from breeders, auctions, and other sources. Most of the horses and donkeys are family units (dads, moms, their offsprings, aunts, uncles, cousins). Just like a foster child who longs to be adopted and not move around from place to place, the horses who have come to Blessing Way do so hopefully for the rest of their lives. There are so many unwanted horses that have no where to go.
E.L.L.A.’s mission is to link miniature and large equines as book ambassadors with children and young adults as a way to discover and foster the desire to read and learn of the people, places and events that have shaped the history of the Old and New American West and also Biblical history.
As part of E.L.L.A., each horse and donkey is known as a representative/ambassador/storyteller for certain books (biographies, classic horse stories, Old West history-fiction and nonfiction, bible related stories, etc.). Many are biographical storytellers, helping children and young adults learn life lessons and values through reading about the lives of certain people from the past. Each horse and donkey becomes a visual tangible physical connection to the books for a child or young adult. There is a READ TO A HORSE program in the process of being developed as well as a READING REWARDS PROGRAM. Visit Us!Visit our Links page to download a Reading Rewards Log and start earning rewards. It is the desire of E.L.L.A. to give books and activity packets in various ways to children and young adults through schools, church functions, library events and more. Our little horses and donkeys love to dress up in costumes for parades, horse expos, breed exhibitions, etc.

We currently finance the care of all of our animals out of pocket to keep the animals happy and healthy. Any donated money goes strictly to the care and feeding of the animals. We do not take compensation for the work we do. Please donate to help the animals tell their stories!

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