I am a resident of Mays Landing. My great-grandson rode in the therapeutic riding program at the Atlantic Riding Center for Health in Egg Harbor Township for six years. The experience that he received through being with the horses and instructors helped him tremendously as he has Asperger's syndrome. I also saw how other children profited from the skills of the instructors and the chance to interact with the horses.

About a year and a half ago, the board of directors at ARCH decided on a change of staff, and many of the instructors and the director were told they had to leave. In my opinion, the organization seemed to become disorganized. My great-grandson and daughter left the program.

This had nothing to do with his instructor, whom he cared for and respected. It was more to do with the new administration. The previous administration was more caring and empathetic to the needs of the children with disabilities. My great-grandson is now at HEARTS, which is where most of the former administration and staff from ARCH are now.

It is to me a very sad situation to see people who profit so much from this type of recreation and cognitive skill-building suffer such a loss.

The board of directors should reconsider the decision to close and sit down with the parents and people of the community who consider the program an asset.

There are so many people who would be glad to volunteer in any way possible, and I am one of them.


Mays Landing