The Reading Corral program at North Logan Library is a literacy project aimed to help young children improve reading skills while learning about horses. During each session, two miniature horses come to the library and the children are able to interact with them.
Krystal Knigge brings her children to the reading corral because they get more of a one-on-one experience with the small groups compared to other summer reading activities.
“This is a lot more interaction that they have with horses in the past,” Knigge said. “When we see one on the side of the road we can stop and look at it. I’ve never been at the library with any kind of animals before. We’ve had princesses and magicians, but that’s all inside.”
Sherie Petty is with Utah State University’s equine assisted education program that is working with the library's Reading Corral and says the program is more than just a petting zoo.
“The cool thing animal-assisted intervention is that animals can help the person engage on a whole different level,” Petty said. “Scientifically we know that it can lower the cortisol levels and reduce heart rates and help them be in a whole different state for that opportunity to learn.”
The children also learn life skills, according to Petty. She said they make friends, take turns and learn how to respect other people and the animals they work around.