Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The North Carolina State Horse

It was a special day at Shawboro Elementary yesterday (in addition to being Grandparent’s Day)! NC Representative Bill Owens came to present the bill signed by Governor Beverlie Perdue designating the Colonial Spanish Mustang the North Carolina State Horse. Nearly one thousand students, primarily in Currituck County, but also including Dare and Carteret, took part in a letter writing campaign. For Currituck fourth graders, it was part of a state mandated writing assessment on an authentic topic. For other grades and counties, it was a voluntary effort. For all, it was an incredible learning experience.

The project started in March of 2009 with a program at the Currituck County Cooperative Extension Center. Students from every elementary school were bussed in for a power point presentation put together by the Corolla Wild Horse Fund and an opportunity to meet a once-wild, rescued Colonial Spanish Mustang. The Fund also provided savings bonds donated by local banks and trips to see the horses for letters judged by teachers to be among the top three from each school. Winning students had an opportunity to read their letters at a Board of Education meeting as well as at another assembly in January of 2010 in front of County Commissioners and many other elected officials and dignitaries.

The designation as state horse has paved the way for further actions designed to protect and preserve the horse on a federal level – H.B. 5482. Both bills present an excellent opportunity for students to have a hands-on learning experience on not only how a bill becomes a law but how they can truly make a difference as a citizen.

We are so grateful to the Currituck County School District administrators, school board, and teachers, our Board of Commissioners; Representatives Owens, Representative Spears, and Senator Basnight, Congressman Walter Jones, Senator Richard Burr and most especially – all the students who wrote such compelling letters.

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