• An iniative of QLD charity Kanyini Connections Ltd
Pony Tales Reading Program

Pony Tales Reading Program

Pony Tales Reading Program

It’s not hard to fall behind in the early years of reading.  When a child doesn’t understand, they can quickly become disengaged – not just with that particular book, but with reading in general. Traumatic life circumstances can interrupt the flow of learning and confidence building.

Trauma in early childhood can be especially harmful.  A child’s brain grows and develops rapidly, especially in the first three years. Young children are also very dependent on the caregivers for care, nurture and protection. This can make young children especially vulnerable to trauma. When trauma occurs early it can affect a child’s development.

Childhood trauma can occur when a child witnesses or experiences overwhelming negative events in childhood. Many childhood experiences can overwhelm a child. These can occur in relationships such as with abuse, assault, neglect, violence, exploitation or bullying. This is known as interpersonal trauma – trauma that happens between people.

Children can also experience traumatic events. These include accidents, natural disasters, war and civil unrest, medical procedures, or the sudden loss of a parent or caregiver through death, divorce, separation or imprisonment. ~ Blue Knot Australia

Research shows that the single most powerful predictor of their ability to overcome the trauma and survive their circumstances is the ability to read. (Donald H. Meichenbaum – American psychologist and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Waterloo, Ontario).

Reading for enjoyment can really contribute to re-engagement – and what could be more enjoyable than reading to a pony?!

We hope to expend this important program in 2023 but for now we are running a couple of trial programs with limited numbers to see what works best for the children, teachers and ponies.  Our reading tutors this term are both current primary school teachers – making this an exceptional opportunity.

Current Vacancies

There are no vacancies for Term 4. Applications for Term 1 in 2023 will open in December

Before applying for a place, please make sure that you/your child meet the following criteria:

  • your child is in Prep or Year 1
  • your child can attend every week for 8 weeks in Term 4 – starting in week 2 (12 Oct – 1 Dec)
  • you (or another adult) are able to stay on site while your child is in program sessions.
  • your child has experienced early childhood trauma


By donation. The sanctuary is a charitable organisation that relies on public donations and grant funding to operate.