Children meet little horses at Washington County Free Library

October 11, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN - There were lots of oohs and aahs coming from children and adults over the special guests at the Fridays at the Library program for home-schoolers at the Washington County Free Library.

Linda Marsh, of Rocky Pine Acres in Fayetteville, Pa., brought several miniature horses and members of the All State Miniature Horse and Donkey Club for the program.

"I got to see big horses when I was in Williamsport, and now the little horses are at the library," Seth Smith said.

Seth, 7, got to meet Thunder, a miniature horse owned by club member Sarah Foltz.

Alison Yeager, another club member, was accompanied by Lokota, an 18-month-old miniature horse.

"I once had a miniature live to be 36 years old," Alison said.

Because of their small size, strength and long life span, miniature horses are becoming more popular as service animals for the blind and people who are wheelchair-bound, Alison said.


Marsh said that she and club members take the miniature ponies to shows and fairs in the area.

While the ponies stayed outside with their handlers, the children went inside for a brief talk and PowerPoint presentation by Marsha Fuller, regional public relations coordinator at the Western Maryland Regional Library.

Gretchen Berberich came to Friday's program with her home-schooled sons, Gabriel, 5, and Eamon, 3, as well as 2-year-old Mykala.

"This is my first year home schooling," Berberich said. "I found out about this program from a bookmark that was handed out in the library."

A certified secondary school teacher, Berberich is a part-time faculty member at Hagerstown Community College when she isn't home schooling.

Programs for home-schoolers are on the second Friday of each month during the school year, Fuller said. No registration is required.

Among the programs have been watercolor sessions, kite building and presentations by the Humane Society of Washington County. There will be karate exhibition next month, Fuller said.

"We try to combine education and fun," she said.

For information on Fridays at the Library, call Fuller at 301-739-3250, ext. 176.

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