Ollie the Miniature Horse is showing Indian Lake Elementary students how to embrace what makes them unique.
Ollie and his owner, Jolene Buchenroth of Hardin County, presented Ollie’s story to ILES second graders. Buchenroth told the students that when Ollie came to her farm, he felt ashamed because he is much smaller and looks different from her other full-sized horses, cattle and donkeys. To feel more accepted, Ollie pretended to be a cow, Buchenroth explained.
The students helped the mini-horse put on his costume including a spotted cape, cowbell, ears and a tail wrap. But they learned that the costume did not make the other animals believe Ollie was a cow, so he decided to take all that off and be himself.
Buchenroth told students Ollie made lots of friends in the barn. “It’s always best to be yourself and don’t try to be someone else. It’s okay to be different.”
Second grade teacher Jill Young also shared with students a book on acceptance called “You’re Different and That’s Super” by author Carson Kressley. Young said, “Being different is super. You should be proud to be different and be your own person. Furthermore, we should always be kind and understanding to others who are different from us.”
Ollie’s visit is part of an ongoing effort to prevent bullying at Indian Lake Elementary. The presentation was paid for by a grant from the Alliance for Community Partnership.
Submitted by the Indian Lake school district.