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Cyndy's Story about her Class

posted Jul 9, 2010, 8:00 PM by Bill G Fitler   [ updated Jul 9, 2010, 8:30 PM ]
My name is Cindy Diaz and I teach a special day class at Gladys Stone School in Marina , California. My class has been participating in the Star Rider program for around 5 years. I have seen amazing progress with the children in my classroom such as increased speech and language development, improvements in gross motor abilities and a boost in self confidence.

The children placed into my classroom have orthopedic impairments, hearing impairments, and are blind or visually impaired. All of the students placed in my classroom have developmental disabilities. One of my students who is totally blind loves to ride on the horse , it is his favorite day of the week. He loves to touch and feel the horse’s main and is very vocal when he is riding. Another one of my students came into my program not able to walk independently. She is now walking everywhere without the use of her walker. She also is now able to sit tall in the saddle. When she first started to ride she needed a lot of support such as a special sheepskin blanket and full adult assistant to sit upright in the saddle. Her father attributes much of her success with the Star Rider Program.

As a classroom teacher for children with severe disabilities, The Star Riders Program has become such a rich part of my classroom curriculum. Linda and Ray Martin are very flexible and really work around our classroom schedule. Linda even loaned us one of the saddles and a helmet from the program to help acclimate the students before we started the program. My classroom at Gladys Stone School is very thankful that the Star Riders Program is available in our community.