Tara Carlsen Changes Teens’ Lives Through Service Learning in New Book

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At-risk teens learn teamwork and leadership with equine service learning program in ‘Reaching for the Reins’.

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As a mathematics teacher to at-risk teens, author Tara Carlsen looked for unique ways to help her struggling students learn. Instead of using tired classroom tactics, Carlsen decided to try something new. Her new book, “Reaching for the Reins: Stories of At-Risk Students Empowered by Serving Others through Equine Therapy” (published by iUniverse), details how Carlsen took a group of at-risk teenagers and brought them to a horse ranch, giving them a unique opportunity to bond with the horses, help others and learn valuable life tools to be more successful.

Powerfully written, “Reaching for the Reins” is a collection of stories about Carlsen’s students who attended Cedar Lane Alternative High School. The teenagers participated in a 10-week educational program designed to develop a knowledge of horses through exposure to equine assisted learning activities. After completion of the first phase, the students then mentored a group of students with special needs from Lighthouse Education Center in a 10-week program where they instructed them on how to care for and ride the horses.

Since its inception six years ago, Carlsen has seen the program empower more than 120 students to academic success and meaningful personal growth. The proceeds from Carlsen’s book will be used to fund Reaching for the Reins and other similar programs in southwest Michigan.

“I want to inspire readers to get involved in service in their communities,” says Carlsen passionately. “So many community organizations are struggling for volunteers or being solely run by aging generation. I want to encourage teens, young adults, teachers and youth leaders to get involved in serving others.”

“Reaching for the Reins”
By Tara Carlsen
Hardcover | 5.5 x 8.5in | 228 pages | ISBN 9781491707289
Softcover | 5.5 x 8.5in | 228 pages | ISBN 9781491707272
E-Book | 228 pages | ISBN 9781491707296
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author
Tara Carlsen is a mathematics teacher for at-risk teens and the creator of the Reaching for the Reins Program. She was born and raised in rural southwest Michigan and has always loved horses and the peace that they exude. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, two dogs and horse.

iUniverse, an Author Solutions, LLC, self-publishing imprint, is the leading book marketing, editorial services, and supported self-publishing provider. iUniverse has a strategic alliance with Indigo Books & Music, Inc. in Canada, and titles accepted into the iUniverse Rising Star program are featured in a special collection on BarnesandNoble.com. iUniverse recognizes excellence in book publishing through the Star, Reader’s Choice, Rising Star and Editor’s Choice designations—self-publishing’s only such awards program. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, iUniverse also operates offices in Indianapolis. For more information or to publish a book, please visit iuniverse.com or call 1-800-AUTHORS. For the latest, follow @iuniversebooks on Twitter.

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