These horses in New Ipswich inspire writing, not riding
Author Emily Chetkowski's Villi Poni Farm is a sanctuary for endangered Newfoundland ponies. Here volunteer Emma Simila, 14, of Peterborough, walks one of the ponies.COURTESY
Author and instructor Emily Chetkowski hopes to inspire young people to create while connecting with nature through her new Pony and Pen writing program.
"I want to give back, and I have found I want to pass that on," Chetkowski said of her passions for writing and the Newfoundland pony during a Wednesday interview at her home, Villi Poni Farm in New Ipswich.
The author of seven children's books and young-adult novels - including the Mabel series, based on the adventures of her dog of the same name - Chetkowski plans to hold two sessions this summer, working with students at Villi Poni.
New Ipswich author and teacher Emily Chetkowski
Author Emily Chetkowski's Villi Poni Farm is a sanctuary for endangered Newfoundland ponies. Here, volunteer Emma Simila, 14, of Peterborough walks one of the ponies.COURTESY
"I just didn't understand it, so I wrote a poem to him," she said. "It just helped me. It didn't bring him back, it didn't make sense, but it just helped me to organize my thoughts and express myself."
She wants young people to share that experience.
"It's time to pass it on," she said. "I'm going to be 57 years old, and it just hit me one day that I want to turn this into a place to inspire kids. Whether it's the ponies or whatever, I just want them to be inspired and create."
There won't be a riding component to the program, but students will have the opportunity to get as close to the ponies as they wish.
They will learn how to be safe and respectful of the animals, and they also wwill get to groom, feed and walk them.
In addition to authoring books, Chetkowski has provided instruction in schools for 20 years. More recently, she's given lessons via Skype.
Daily activities will run from 1-4 p.m.
In addition to the six ponies, students will get to meet the rest of the Chetkowski's extended family, which includes four dogs, two donkeys, one horse and two kittens.
Last week's Rare Bird Alert