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SPECIAL SPIRIT PROGRAMS
THE LEARNING RANCH

SPECIAL SPIRIT INVITES YOU TO
THE LEARNING RANCH

We offer a variety of programs from tours to animal activities. You can also book your next birthday party or event at The Learning Ranch. Explore the programs we offer below. 

Don't forget to join us for Special Spirit Social Hour, every 2nd & 4th Friday!

The Learning Ranch

TOURS AT THE LEARNING RANCH

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$15 per person, Children Age 3 & Under Free

Come and meet our animals! We have over 40 animals in the Special Spirit  family. The animals we currently have are alpacas, horses, pigs, goats, sheep, ponies, mini horses, chickens, turkeys, dogs, cats, and a donkey. We offer private farm tours for groups up to 10. You can book appointments below. Our tours are all inclusive and suitable for all ages. All of our animals, as well as our farmers, are very friendly and looking forward to your visit.

For after hours, weekends, field trips and private tours please contact us for availability.

To schedule your visit to The Learning Ranch, please contact us today. 

 

The Learning Ranch is proud to carry forward the legacy of Danny's Farm, that exemplifies neurodiverse workplaces and inspires experiences that foster our relationship with animals and natural environments.

Learn more about Danny at DannysFarm.org

ANIMAL ASSISTED ACTIVITIES

$30/per session offered Tuesday & Thursday

3-5PM  90 minutes

Animal Assisted Activities (AAA) is a program designed to offer participants a safe and educational way to interact with animals in a group setting. These activity classes are made for up to 12 participants. Participants will be guided by trained staff and volunteers through different activities involving animals.

 

Activities include:

  • Learning about animals

  • Playing games

  • Making crafts

  • Light "farm cooking"

  • Helping with farm chores

 

Different animals that may be involved in the activities include horses, donkey, miniature horses, alpacas, goats, chickens, turkey, pigs, and dogs. 

ANIMAL ASSISTED LEARNING

$60 per client, Scheduled per client

60-90 minutes (depending on group size)

Animal Assisted Learning (AAL) is a program designed for both group and individual participants. The program is run by PATH Intl and EAGALA certified staff and includes basic program notes after each session. These sessions are geared towards working on specific goals of emotional intelligence and works with the power tools for living. 

 

Activities may vary by session but can include:

  • Games with the animals

  • Learning experiences and challenges

  • Animal husbandry tasks

 

Different animals that may be involved in the activities include horses, donkey, miniature horses, alpacas, goats, chickens, turkey, pigs, and dogs.  

 
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READING AT THE RANCH

Our Free Little Library resides inside our gate and includes a wide selection of reading materials,
many by Dr. Seuss, to fit into the Seussical theme of The Ranch.

In 2016 our service dog Abby and one of our staff were invited to an elementary school for an after-school event, the reading of “What Pet Should I Get?”. Since it was close to bedtime many kids came in their pajamas and went home to bed after the event. This event ignited our realization of how beneficial animals are to their literacy progression.

Jennifer Kim, a Senior Librarian with the LA’s Public Library at John Muir, started with the LA Public Library as a children's librarian and read many Dr. Suess books to children. She is a volunteer at Special Spirit, working with horses and young people. Jennifer is our mentor in designing our “Reading at the Ranch” program.

 

The program allows the child to choose an animal to read to, they can read alone to the animal(s) or read with a support staff. (A support staff is always close by for safety). The support staff provides support to the reading child, helping with pronunciation, understanding a word, and the context of the story, etc.

MOBILE READING TO THE ANIMALS

Offered to schools, we will bring our animals and allow children to read out loud and write their own stories to our farm animals.

  • Our mission is to teach children empathy and kindness through animals. The Reading Program is a perfect addition to our lineup of existing programs.

  • Each child must be accompanied by a parent or guardian

  • The program is FREE!

  • Children must be 5-12 years old to participate 

To schedule this event, please contact us today!

 

BENEFITS OF THE READING PROGRAM

Special Spirit’s “Reading at The Ranch” program is designed to help encourage reading and speaking skills.

A reluctant reader plus a loving animal can be a powerful combo for reading practice. Reading to an animal is safe, animals do not judge, and they don’t care if you make mistakes. “Low self-esteem and anxiety can create a mental block that often inhibits learning” explains Stephen Krashen (educational researcher). Reading to animals removes the mental block & increases the chance to learn. Most importantly, reading for our animals is FUN.

Reading to our animals motivates kids to read books, when provided the opportunity to read to our animals a bond between them develops.

They acquire confidence, no judgement from the animals and the animals are engaged listeners. Fluency is improved, practice makes perfect. The safety provided by the animals provided helps the ongoing practice of reading. Animals are benefitting as well, as they are helped from the attention they receive, and it gives the child a sense of purpose.

Going around the ranch, you see a young boy sitting in Glitter’s stall.

A rescued 8-year-old donkey, she is a shy, scarred animal from abuse. She approaches the boy, who sits cross legged on a wooden chair. She noses the book, swivels her ears to listen, suddenly curious because the action of reading is so non-confrontative. The boy makes efforts to change the timbre of his voice as the characters in his story shift.

His parents have never heard him do this before.

SCHEDULE FOR THE FUTURE READING PROGRAM WILL BE POSTED IN SEPTEMBER 2022

SPECIAL SPIRIT SOCIAL HOUR

EVERY 2ND & 4TH FRIDAY, 5:00-8:00PM

$25 includes Food, Drinks & Entertainment

 

BIRTHDAY PARTIES & EVENTS

We offer the availability to host parties on our property. The parties include all the farm animals such as the alpacas, horses, pigs, goats, sheep, ponies, mini horses, chickens and rabbits. We also offer horse rides for an additional fee.

 

If you would like to book a party or event at The Learning Ranch, please contact us today!

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"Our daughter Avery is 5 years old and started riding at Moonshadow Ranch almost a year ago. She had a major abdominal surgery when she was 4, and we began riding lessons as a way to restore and strengthen her stomach muscles.  Avery loves animals and is very at home in the stables.
We strongly recommend Eva Lund and her riding program for children."

- WESTON & CATHERINE, AVERY'S PARENTS

COVID-19 PROTOCOLS

Special Spirit Inc – The Learning Ranch is committed to providing the safest environment for our employees and visitors. We are committed to continuously monitoring the spread of COVID-19 at a national, state and local level, while adhering to all local health department rules in our evaluation of work and event protocols based on the most current situation.