Charter School gets barnyard guests

Kindergarten and first grade students at the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School got a special treat Wednesday when a team from Misty Meadows Equine Learning Center brought two horses for students to interact with.

Misty Meadows is one of several Island organizations partnering with the Charter School to give students hands-on learning during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Remote learning is great, but it has limitations. So we asked ourselves, ‘Can we use the Island as our classroom?’” Charter School director Pete Steedman said.

The two horses — Finnigan, an Appaloosa, and Pumba, a draft mix — are both 14 years old, and have undergone extensive training to become therapy horses. Students learned how to feed horses, and what it takes to care for a horse’s hooves.

Steedman and Assistant Director Scott Goldin have additional in-person educational programs lined up with Featherstone, Slough Farm, Felix Neck, Island Grown Initiative, and MVY Radio. All programs have small groups of students wearing masks and social distancing while getting to learn in person.