Each Monday, students in the 18-21 Transition Program at North High School learn life skills through an equine therapy course. With the support of a therapist, students groom, take care of and ride the horses. The program was made possible through a partnership with Colorado State University.
The transition program offers a continuum of supports and services for students to successfully complete credits required for graduation.
“The students in the program are working on those big goals in life – transition skills, employment, post-secondary education and adult living,” said Will Crookston, Special Education Support Partner, who oversees the 18-21 Transition Program. “We are seeing students use the horses to apply problems and solutions to their personal lives. The program has had a huge impact on students’ self-esteem, communications skills and their willingness to work with not just animals, but other students and adults.”
The five horses in the program are “retired” and have come to live out their lives with students. The horses provide a safe space for students to express themselves and gain the skills necessary to achieve success in life after DPS.