Midcoast Literacy learners meet the horses ahead of the Readers Ride event at Sable Oak Equestrian Center June 4. Martha Simpson photo

On Saturday, June 4, Midcoast Literacy held its first Readers Ride fundraising event in partnership with Sable Oak Equestrian Center in Brunswick. Thanks to the support of 15 local businesses, students in Midcoast Literacy’s Read Together tutoring program – most of whom had never ridden a horse before – toured Sable Oak’s stables and got up in the saddle for the first time with the help of equestrian center staff.

Participating students got to take home a free, horse-themed book of their choice and a horseshoe to remember the day.

Midcoast Literacy learners in the riding ring at the Readers Ride event at Sable Oak Equestrian Center June 4. Contributed

“It was a really special day at the stables for our students and their families,” said Daniel Burson, Midcoast Literacy’s executive director. “I’ll never forget seeing the beaming smiles on the faces of the kids as they finished their first circuit around the riding ring on a horse. We’re very grateful for all of the sponsor-a-rider donations from local businesses gave these kids the opportunity to have such a wonderful time.”

The Readers Ride fundraiser was developed by Midcoast Literacy’s board of directors in collaboration with Sherrye and John Trafton, the owners of Sable Oak Equestrian Center.

For the Traftons, it was an opportunity to give back to the community in a new way that underlined their own lifelong love of reading. For Midcoast Literacy, it was a chance to give their Read Together learners, many of whom are the children of New Mainers or who come from lower-income families, a unique new experience learning about and riding horses.

Local businesses that sponsored one or more riders for the June 4th Readers Ride were: Accel Physical Therapy; Androscoggin Animal Hospital; Bangor Savings Bank; Bath Industrial Sales; Brunswick Dental Health Associates; Cool As A Moose; David Matero Architecture; Don Foshay’s Discount Tire; Fiore Olive Oils; J. Edward Knight Insurance; M.W. Sewall; Now You’re Cooking; Pleasant Street Dental; R.M. Brown Consulting; and Sherman’s Books & Stationary. Refreshments for the event were donated by Wild Oats Bakery & Café. All funds raised from sponsoring businesses will go to support Midcoast Literacy’s Read Together program for children ages 6-14 in the Midcoast community.

Midcoast Literacy is a non-profit organization based in Bath that has been providing free tutoring and other literacy programs to people of all ages in Lincoln, Sagadahoc and northern Cumberland counties for more than 50 years. Through  Family Literacy and Adult Literacy programs, staff and volunteers strive to help children and adults develop their literacy skills. Learn more about their programs, or sign-up to become a volunteer tutor, at (207) 443-6384 or midcoastliteracy.org.

A Read Together learner on horseback at Readers Ride with Sable Oak Equestrian Center owner Sherrye Trafton. Contributed

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