Wellington Chamber Welcomes Horse Tales Literacy Project

The Wellington Chamber of Commerce has announced that Horse Tales Literacy Project has become a new member of the chamber.

According to the nonprofit organization’s web site, it’s about “horses inspiring children to read and succeed.”

The project adheres to each state’s education laws, has partnerships with large corporations and organizations, and has received many prestigious awards. It is a U.S. and Canadian project that has inspired 600,000 (and counting) children to read.

Tim Farley, son of the author Walter Farley, who wrote The Black Stallion book series, and Mark Miller, owner of the Arabian Nights Dinner Attraction in Orlando, created the project in 1999 due to a common desire to motivate children to learn to read. The project works with school-based and community programs targeted to children in the first and fourth grades.

The project provides Farley’s books and other classic horse literature to children. Receiving and holding their own book is a first for many of these children. Then the kids listen to an adult read the book out loud. At the end of the story, friendly horses named after the characters in the books make an appearance.

Shelly LeConte is the South Florida coordinator. She works from Indian River County to Miami-Dade County and runs the program with the help of her three daughters: Summer, 18, Stevanie, 14, and Skye, 12.

“We are working hard to bring up the literacy rate because our kids need this to succeed,” LeConte said. “It’s our next generation, and these kids need to be able to read in order to learn.”

Because Horse Tales Literacy Project is a nonprofit organization, funding is an issue. “We always need volunteers and sponsorships,” LeConte said. “Schools don’t have the money or the time, so we need the money and time to make this work for the children.”

LeConte’s next fundraiser is a golf tournament and dinner March 9, 2013 at the Binks Forest Golf Club, and she encourages the public to attend and support the project.

For more about Horse Tales Literacy Project, visit www.horsetalesliteracy.org. To contact the main office, call (407) 239-9223 or e-mail info@horsetalesliteracy.com.

LeConte can be reached at (561) 357-8729 or at shelly.leconte@horsetalesliteracy.org.


Above: Horse Tales Literacy Project South Florida Coordinator Shelly LeConte (center) with daughters Skye and Stevanie and Wellington Chamber ambassadors Dale Grimm, Bob Salerno, Mark “Boz” Bozicevic and Christian Lopez.