High School Students Present Donation To Bit-By-Bit Program

Two Kansas students visiting a therapeutic riding program sponsored by Rogers State University and Oologah-Talala Public Schools were so touched by the experience that they organized a fundraiser for the program.

Jeyree Maples and SaVanna Dufoe of Caney Valley (Kan.) High School presented a $300 check to Bit-By-Bit program director Linda Barron during a Jan. 27 event at the school. The money was raised through a bonfire and dance held at the high school in November. The donation will be used to defray costs for maintaining the program, which promotes physical and mental health for those with special needs through horseback riding.

“Horseback riding improves balance, walking, language and cognitive skills or participating clients, who also benefit from the bond between the horse and rider,” Barron said.

The girls experienced the Bit-By-Bit program when they visited RSU’s Claremore campus last spring with their high school Equus Club. This fall, the girls organized the fundraising events as part of a class project for their family consumer science class. They received food and beverage donations from local businesses, and held a bonfire and dance at the high school following a Nov. 15 powder puff football game. Despite freezing temperatures, more than 200 students and adults attended the event.

“We’re extremely grateful that these girls put their hard work into supporting the Bit-By-Bit program,” Barron said. “I think it goes to prove that the experience is beneficial not only for the riders, but also for the volunteers and others who participate.”