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New Perspectives - July, 2001 Issue #83 

Wears Valley Ranch
Addie Sine – Public Relations
Sevierville, Tennessee

Wears Valley Ranch is a Christ-centered home and school for boys and girls, ages 11-17, who have experienced difficult home situations either due to abuse, lack of “loving nurture”, and/or difficulties with discipline. The Ranch is located on just over 100 acres of land bordering the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Sevierville, TN.

Parents are asked to commit to a one-year plan of care for their child at the time of admission. The average length of stay at Wears Valley Ranch is eighteen months, although some children have stayed as long as 43 months. Each child receives the opportunity to function as part of a family on campus in one of the “non- institutional” homes. Each home is staffed with a married Christian couple, serving as the “house parents”, who show “love and encouragement where each child can know the security of boundaries and the acceptance of unconditional love.” “They come to the ranch not because they are delinquent, but because they need a change of environment at a critical time in their lives.”

The ranch is funded by donations from churches and individuals. “While we do seek to involve the parents in their monthly support and allow the children to contribute to their care through chores, the majority of the expenses are paid for by individual donors.”

Wears Valley Ranch provides each child with individualized education using an on-campus approach. Each student receives extensive testing to analyze significant factors that affect the individual educational plan for that child. A curriculum is then designed and implemented, which enables the child to experience “measurable progress”. Children are accepted regardless of their religious backgrounds and attend church with their house parents in the community. “While no child should be pressured to embrace a particular creed, we are eager for each child to know the truth that they are loved by God.”

Each child at the ranch is also provided with ongoing personal challenge designed to cultivate strengths and stretch the limits of potential. Through sports and recreation, work-study, and goal setting, the families at Wears Valley Ranch “challenge the children to be all they can be.”

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