Embrace Hope has had children participate in the program from the first weekend following the shooting, and every weekend since. Just this past August, as school was approaching, we had a spike in requests for sessions, or to just requests come to the farm to ease nerves prior to the beginning of school. Memories of the tragedy are still very fresh and continue to haunt our community.
When kids are out of school, their memories linger and without the distraction that school offers sometimes their symptoms can become exacerbated. This summer Embrace Hope offered summer camp sessions that included horse riding, swimming, arts and crafts and perhaps most importantly an escape with other kids. We hope to expand on this offering as funds allow.
Over the course of the last few months we have noticed that many kids, in addition to working with the horses have found solace playing with and learning about the other animals on the farm. Understanding the role that animals often play in healing seen in hospitals and in senior centers, we have built a small animal farm to encourage the kids to interact with other animals as well, extended our offering from Equine Assisted Therapy and hence, extending the opportunities for healing.