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NEWS

August 4, 2008

Bit By Bit to Hold Volunteer Training Sept. 5 & 6

The Bit by Bit Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program at Rogers State University will hold volunteer training sessions on Friday, Sept. 5, and Saturday Sept. 6, at the RSU Equestrian Center near Oologah.

According to Bit by Bit program director, Velinda Baker, both days of training are necessary for all volunteers, both new and returning.

Beginning this fall, Bit by Bit plans to increase the number of weekly classes it offers from 18 to 29 to accommodate 89 riders, instead of the traditional 61 riders. This increase will allow children who have been on a waiting list for one to three years to benefit from the riding program, Baker said.

"Volunteers are the backbone of the equine therapeutic program and the increase will only be possible if enough volunteers are able to donate their time to the program," she said.

The volunteer training has significantly changed from past years, she said.

The training will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days and take place at the RSU Equestrian Center, located at 16544 South Highway 169 (five miles south of Oologah on the northwest side of the highway.)

The training is open for people 15 years and older. There is no fee for the training if the participant plans to volunteer for Bit by Bit. People who want to participate in the training but are unable to volunteer will be required to pay a fee of $75. CEU credit will also be obtainable for training.

The RSU Bit By Bit program promotes physical and mental health through horseback riding for children and adults with disabilities. The riding sessions and other therapeutic interactions with the horses help improve balance, walking, language and cognitive skills for participating clients.

Please contact the Bit By Bit office at 371-1750 or email bitbybit@rsu.edu for information about the sessions or training requirements. More information and volunteer applications are available by visiting http://www.rsu.edu/bitbybit/. The deadline for training registration is Aug. 29.