Celebrating Munchkin & Amanda Peters!

Celebrating Munchkin & Amanda Peters!
Posted on 01/18/2024
Amanda Peters & Munchkin

As a Physical Health Disabilities Teacher, no one was surprised when Amanda Peters brought home a horse with physical challenges nearly a decade ago.  Since Munchkin, the miniature horse with the genetic difference of dwarfism, first entered the lives of Amanda and her family, he has brought peace and joy to a wide variety of people throughout Minnesota.  As a registered therapy animal, Munchkin became a member of the Mayo Clinic’s therapy animal team in fall, 2023, bringing smiles to patients, staff, and visitors alike.  He also accompanies Amanda for readings of the book she wrote about him, Munchkin Celebrates Differences, at public libraries.  They are already scheduled for readings at 18 public libraries during the summer of 2024.  Amanda credits the students she works with at ISD 917 for inspiring her to write her book.  She wants every student with any type of challenge to see themselves “as someone who has a lot to offer the world, even if they have to do some things differently - just like Munchkin.”  


Amanda Peters first joined ISD 917 as a paraprofessional in 1996, then worked as a DASH (Developmental Disabilities, Academics, Socialization, and Health Services) teacher the following year.  She then taught in districts closer to home before returning to ISD 917 in 2014.  Since then, she has played multiple roles in the district, including Physical Health Disabilities Teacher and Lead Teacher for Care and Treatment Programs before beginning her current role as Lead Physical Health Disabilities Teacher and Instructional Technology Coach.  In her daily work, Amanda enjoys “using technology in creative ways to help students and staff overcome barriers to learning and teaching.”  She loves that “there's always something new to learn with technology and always new ways to unlock potential - especially now in the age of Artificial Intelligence.”  What continues to draw her to our district is her colleagues and the district-wide focus on ensuring that “meeting unique needs is the norm rather than the exception”. 


Amanda’s hope “is to reach both the kids who feel different and the kids who need to accept and include others who may do some things differently than they do with the message that we all have differences that make us special.”  ISD 917 is thankful for the knowledge, experience, and empathy Amanda Peters brings to our district, and we feel lucky to have her and Munchkin in our community.  


You can follow Munchkin and Amanda on social media at:

Instagram @munchkintherapyhorse 

Raising Hope Ranch You Tube Page

Raising Hope Ranch Facebook Page