National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Donate 3 Horses to CHSAS
The National Latino Farmers & Ranchers (NLFR) donated three horses to the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences (CHSAS) on Sept. 2.
The donation of the horses was celebrated with a program at CHSAS’ riding arena, which was attended by members of the media and invited dignitaries, including State Sen. William Cunningham, State Reps. Fran Hurley and Kelly Burke, 19th Ward Alderman Matthew O’Shea, and Deputy Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture Kristi Jones.
Pedro Martinez, CEO of Chicago Public Schools, described CHSAS as “a model school” which shows the importance of agriculture across all fields.
“The reason it is so strong is that it unites people,” Martinez said. “All aspects of ag, it is here in this school.”
Antonio Contreras, a junior at CHSAS in the food science pathway, thanked NLFR for their donation during the program.
“It will provide an opportunity for more hands-on learning and will leave a really big impact on students,” Contreras said.
Sophomore Sophia Roy spoke of how the horses will be used by CHSAS’ Cluster program as part of the high school’s diverse therapeutic riding program. According to the CPS website, Cluster programs are designed for students requiring a significantly modified curriculum with moderate to intensive supports in a separate classroom from general education peers for the majority of the day. Principal William Hook said that at 80 students, CHSAS’ Cluster program is the largest CPS school-integrated Cluster program for students with special needs
The program ended with Principal Hook exchanging plaques with leaders of NLFR, including CEO Rudy Arredondo.
“We commemorate today and every day going forward with these plaques,” Hook said.
Eugene Pickett, deputy director of NLFR, said that he hopes his organization continues to partner with CHSAS and other schools around the country.
“Our dream is to have many more institutions across America doing something like this,” Pickett said. “This is like a dream come true.”
For more information about CHSAS, visit www.chicagoagr.org. For more information about NLFR, visit www.NLFRTA.org.