Brush Prairie ranch, kids celebrate

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Brush Prairie — Silver Buckle Ranch threw a party Dec. 20 for the children who participated in its fall Acts of Random Kindness Program, which provides low-cost instructional therapy classes to children referred by local social service agencies. The nonprofit Silver Buckle Ranch at 11611 N.E. 152nd Ave. in Brush Prairie holds quarterly sessions aimed at improving lives of children by having work and bond with horses, and perform daily upkeep duties at the ranch. Many of the kids enrolled struggle with mental and emotional challenges. "Horses challenge each student to build trust, patience and communication skills in a supportive environment free of judgments or preconceptions," the ranch's website reports. At the holiday party in December, children rode horses, drank hot chocolate and ate cookies. Cathi Wright, ranch program coordinator, said the kids also took home gift bags and coats donated by local families and the fourth-grade class at King's Way Christian School in Vancouver.