According to the department, the program offers hands-on mentorship and helps teens develop life skills.
Burlington County Sheriff Jean Stanfield has announced hat her department’s Equestrian Mentoring Program is accepting interested participants.
“The Equestrian Mentoring Program offers youth who are showing signs of problematic behavior an opportunity to actively engage in character building and experiential exercises designed to empower them to make positive and healthy life choices,” Stanfield said.
The program targets youth between the ages of 13 and 17 years of age. Youth may be referred by parents, chaplains, educators, youth service programs and local police departments.
“The program has two components, which include a Saturday Orientation, located at the County Court Complex, 49 Rancocas Road, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and a ten-week Equestrian Facilitated Program that meets on Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Gleneayre Farms in Lumberton Township,” Stanfield said. “The program concludes with a graduation celebration.”
Program dates are as follows:
· Class №12: Orientation, Saturday, March 11 and Thursdays March 16 — May 18
· Class №13: Orientation, Saturday, May 20 and Thursdays May 25 — July 27
· Class №14: Orientation, Saturday, July 29 and Thursdays August 3 — October 5
· Class №15: Orientation, Saturday, October 7 and Thursdays October 12 — December 21 (except Thanksgiving)
“The Saturday orientation consists of tours to the Burlington County Jail, a presentation by a former gang member turned professional boxer and interaction with our officers,” Stanfield said. “While students will not come into direct contact with inmates, they will experience firsthand what life is like in a correctional institution and this is an excellent opportunity for them to work closely with our officers.”
In addition, there are three equestrian instructors at each session to teach the curriculum and to guide the participant’s discussions. Ten teens are referred to each session of the Equestrian Program. Parents receive written rules along with registration documents and directions to the program locations. Lunch is provided to all participants.
This program is for students who will benefit from long-term mentoring. This is not a riding program. Students are outside at times and need to wear appropriate clothing and sturdy shoes or boots.
“The equestrian facilitated program at Gleneayre Farms uses horses and hands-on activities to teach students lessons about truthfulness, integrity, anger management and other topics that will help them develop essential life skills,” Stanfield said.
This is a free program and is provided by the Burlington County Sheriff’s Department through grant funding. For additional information call (609) 845–2829.
To refer a student, complete the Equestrian Mentoring Program referral form at the following link http://nj-burlingtoncounty.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/5897.
Forms can be returned to:
Burlington County Sheriff’s Department
PO Box 6000
49 Rancocas Road
Mount Holly, NJ 08060