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New Perspectives - Dec, 1999 Issue #64 

 Alldredge Academy
Davis, West Virginia
Glenn F. Bender, Director of Admissions

The Alldredge Academy Program is designed for boys and girls ages 13 through 18, who are “angry, defiant, rebellious, deceitful, manipulative, entitled, sad, impulsive, unreasonable, ill- tempered, adrift, isolated, depressed, anxious, loving and loveable. They may be failing classes despite their obvious intelligence, isolated and withdrawn despite their charm and warmth. They may have run away, experimented with drugs or alcohol, or fail to act responsibly or in a manner consistent with their abilities and up bringing.”

The Academy describes itself as “an intense one semester educational institution enrolling students every two weeks. We have an advanced, proven academic model that accelerates learning, removes fear of failure, and helps the student catch up or get ahead in his or her academic studies.”

They offer the “Semester Back Program,” in which the child experiences three distinct and unique environments: a wilderness trek, a wilderness village component, and an academic boarding school component with their copyrighted curriculum and academic model. “The 102 day (3 ½ month) program is short enough to minimize the interruption of the child’s family life and current school attendance, but long enough to allow him or her to discover, and change problematic issues and behaviors while developing academic skills and earning high school credits. We prepare students to return home as soon as possible and continue the successful, effective patterns developed during their stay with us.”

“The Semester Back Program strongly encourages family participation in two process-oriented workshops. A primary goal of the Program is encouraging and facilitating a strong relationship within the family.” Micheal Beswick, Program Director, and licensed therapist with 20 years of experience working with adolescents and families, will be conducting the Parenting Workshops. Throughout the program, therapists will be in weekly contact with the family. A reading list is provided for parents to enhance the work that will be accomplished during the Workshops.

In addition to the Semester Back Program, Alldredge Academy offers a 62-65 day Therapeutic Wilderness Program and Village Experience. Also available is the option for an Extended Stay, for those students not ready to go home. The Extended Stay part of the program enables students to continue their “in residence” academic/therapeutic program indefinitely earning even more high school credits and working on personal issues in the wilderness or village until a more convenient date to return home. The minimum stay is one month, after which time there is a daily fee.

The wilderness part of the program takes place in the “spectacularly beautiful yet remote wilderness of West Virginia’s Canaan Valley and Dolly Sods Wilderness Area.” The Cultural Village, located at the confluence of the Laurel Fork and Dry Fork rivers, is the setting where the students build simple structures such as hogans, kivas and huts. The academic part of the program takes place at the school in Davis, West Virginia, in a more traditional residential, academic environment where students work closely with the academic instructors. Education oriented field trips to enhance and deepen the students’ learning experience. Students also participate in interesting training experiences in order to learn more advanced search and rescue techniques.

Copyright © 1999, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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