What is Gentle
Carousel's Reading Is Magic program?
Real horses inside a library or classroom is always a
Gentle Carousel with the help of "Magic" and friends bring tiny horses inside
and at-risk youth programs to inspire young
The horses in Gentle Carousel's
program look like the horse characters in loved children's books.
Carousel's Reading Is Magic
program provides books, family reading lists, author book signings,
author signed books and posters (including Newbery Medal and Honor
winners), photography, educational coloring books, bookmarks,
certificates, posters, lesson plan ideas, enrichment activities and
book readings with our horses.
Young children who have rich language and literacy
experiences are less likely to have difficulties learning to read.
Gentle Carousel horses
worked with over 4000 adults and children in 2009.
Over 1200 children attended the Reading Is Magic summer
program in 2009.
Reading Is Magic's
will expand to seven more counties in 2010. Research
shows that children who do not continue reading through the
summer can lose a month or more of progress made during the
Gentle Carousel's Reading Is Magic program encourages children and their parents to
read together, teachers to read to their students and children to be
inspired to read their own books.
In order to participate in the school program, teachers must commit to read books from
the Reading Is Magic Book List to their students everyday. When students
finish books, the horse “characters” visit the classrooms,
bringing books to life.
The children who were read to at
least three times a week by a family member were almost twice as
likely to score in the top twenty-five percent in reading than
children who were read to less than three times a week. - National
Institute for Literacy
Reading Is Magic has a special focus on struggling or at risk readers. Poor readers are
at increased risk for dropping out of school, substance abuse,
delinquency and poverty.
The opportunity to
inspire a love of reading in children of all ages is an honor and
a great responsibility.
Gentle Carousel's Reading Is Magic?
Carousel 's Reading Is Magic is a 501(c)(3) non profit public charity. Donations
are tax deductible. Reading Is Magic depends on
individual donations, grants, fundraising events and corporate
sponsors to continue this important work.
There are no paid staff positions. An amazing team of
volunteers assist during Reading Is Magic programs, find
sponsors for books, help with photography, work on the
website, print materials, transport, train and care for these special horses
and make the magic happen.
invested in quality early childhood care and education saves
as much as $7 by increasing the likelihood that children
will be literate, employed and less likely to be school
dropouts, dependent on welfare or arrested. Data compiled by
the Florida School Boards Association 2004-2005.
small are Gentle Carousel Reading Is Magic horses?
has some of the smallest miniature horses in the world.
Most are only 23-27 inches tall.
Rainbow was only 14 inches
tall at birth and is 18 inches tall as an adult. Milky Way weighed only 9 pounds at birth
(he was a twin).
While a larger, more
powerful horse may seem very daunting to a young child, a
child who has not spent time with animals or someone with a disability, an instant bond
seems to form with our Reading Is Magic horses.
Small horses do have an advantage
moving around classrooms and libraries!
How are Gentle
Carousel horses trained?
the skills needed to work inside libraries and schools takes at least two
years and there is always something new to experience. Our
horses learn to walk up and down stairs, ride in elevators,
walk on unusual floor surfaces and carefully move around
desks and classroom equipment.
They must be calm in
the most challenging situations and trust their handlers
completely when something unexpected happens. We never force our horses to do anything.
They are treated with kindness and respect and choose to
work with us and have a relationship with us.
trained Gentle Carousel horse is walked
into City Hall by canine movie star Benji during the filming
of a documentary about our program.
note - Just because someone has a miniature horse does
not mean that they have a horse that should come indoors!
Taking a horse indoors that has not been properly trained
and insured (even a miniature horse) to visit children or
the elderly is irresponsible in our opinion.
receive many requests each day for help regarding legal
issues... how to start a program like ours, how to
file for a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, insurance questions, tax
questions, We cannot give legal advice. We
get our own advice from the attorneys and accountants that
we work with.
receive many calls from people looking for employment.
Gentle Carousel is an all volunteer program so there are no
paid employment opportunities.
Magic did a photo shoot with Luke the
elephant for a Reading Is Magic poster. This
is a photo of trust!
Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses insured?
A visit from "Flame"
The Island Stallion.
Gentle Carousel's horses are insured for all visits and
Safety is our top priority and that is why
we are so careful with the selection and training of our
Carousel Therapy Horses live indoors?
Gentle Carousel horses love to be with people, but they also
need time to relax and just be horses. When their halters come off, they know that they are off duty.
are herd animals and need time to be with the other horses
that they trust. They do not like to be alone and they would
not be happy living indoors. When
they are off duty they are with their little herd and when
they come in at night they are always with a friend.
you find horses for Reading Is Magic?
selected for Gentle Carousel's Reading Is Magic program must
look exactly like the characters in popular children's books
and have the same qualities as a therapy horse (many work in
both programs). We have searched
for and purchased horses from one
side of the country to the other. Brighty and Splash are from
California, Circus is from Texas, Flame is from Georgia,
Feather is from Montana...you get the idea. It is very
difficult to find the perfect match for a book and the perfect personality in one horse.
Reading Is Magic horse has their own
webpage so you can learn more about the special members of
Happens On A Reading Is Magic Visit?
Gentle Carousel's Reading
at Head Start.
visit is different. Gentle
Carousel adapts the program to the age and abilities of the
students attending. We work with each school or library to
best meet the needs of each child.
How can I
help Gentle Carousel's Reading Is Magic?
your favorite horse.
Ask your friends, your work
place or an organization that you belong to if they would
like to sponsor a Reading Is Magic horse
or a Gentle Carousel program.
We try to help as many
as possible but with your support we can do so much more.
is a very, very tiny miniature horse. He was only 14 inches
tall at birth and now is 18 inches tall.
Rainbow has an amazing personality and
will be the star of an upcoming children's book
published by Wild Onion Press. Wild Onion Press publishes
books featuring children with various physical differences.
Their philosophy is that a physical difference is not a
disability, it is merely an outstanding characteristic.
the original "magic" of the Reading Is Magic program and our goodwill
ambassador. She is so popular and receives so many
requests for visits that she has an understudy named Music.
Magic was selected Most Heroic Pet in America
has been on television many times and even in radio stations.
She loves spending time with children.
Sundance is the star of the the popular children's novel JASON AND ELIHU
by best selling author Shelley Fraser Mickle. Sundance will make
personal appearances in 2010.
Several photos of Sundance appear in the book. Sundance's outgoing
personality was captured in the story including his love of peppermints
and his talent for smiling.
portion of the proceeds of this book is being donated to
Florida's foster care prevention programs.
honor and thrill to have Sundance as a riveting character in
JASON AND ELIHU. -Shelley Fraser Mickle
That is not a horse!
You are right... it's Baxter.
is a Selkirk Rex cat with curly hair.
Baxter is also part of Gentle
Carousel's Reading Is Magic program. Baxter looks like
the characters in his favorite books too!
Baxter loves Magic and is currently working on
his horseback riding skills.
Carousel's READING IS MAGIC is a 501(c)(3)
donations are tax deductible.
something about the outside of a horse that is good for the
inside of a man." ~Winston Churchill