«Return to News Listing$12,000 Grant Received from BCBS: Healthy Kids, Healthy Families

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March 3, 2020 – 

New Mexico Center for Therapeutic Riding received a $12,000 grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico: Healthy Kids, Healthy Families. NMCTR’s ‘Therapeutic Riding Partnership with Santa Fe Schools for Healthy Kids, Healthy Minds’ directly aligns with BCBS’s grant initiative that was designed to improve the health and wellness of children and their families across the state of New Mexico by partnering with nonprofit organizations that offer sustainable, measurable programs in nutrition, physical activity, disease prevention and management, and supporting safe environments. 

NMCTR’s School Outreach Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program is for under-served, low-income students with disabilities (including developmental delay, Down Syndrome, ADHD, autism, etc.) from participating Santa Fe schools. Each special education class may bring 5-12 children and each lesson consists of 1.5 hrs. Half of the time, half of the children will ride and work on horseback riding goals, and the other half will do an activity unmounted incorporating classroom learning through horses. Then the two groups will switch. NMCTR’s PATH Intl Certified Instructors collaborate with the special education teachers to develop individualized student lesson plans based on horseback riding goals, SEL (social emotional learning) goals, and therapeutic needs.  

Schools that have received scholarships thus far: Nino Otero Community School (2 different age group classes), Aspen Magnet Community School (2 different age group classes that are high needs autism), El Dorado Community School, New Mexico School for the Deaf, Pinon Elementary, and Milagro Middle School. There is currently a waiting list as NMCTR can only serve 5-6 classes a semester depending on the number of children enrolled.

Scholarships for the School Outreach Program session fees are provided for the SF Public Schools in order to make access to programs more feasible to a demographic that is typically under additional financial strain. The scholarship income from additional sources is sought to help NMCTR cover the necessary operating costs to provide excellent quality, safe, and effective equine assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) programs to the community. Support from BCBS Healthy Kids, Healthy Family grant provides funding for the Spring and Fall school semesters for the year 2020. 

Thank you Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico for providing NMCTR with this funding to allow us to benefit the health and wellness of children and their families.