FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 5, 2004
Office 480 892-7403
Cell 602 763-7993
Three Rivers Wilderness Programs
Office 949 250-9331
Cell 949 795-1309
NON-PROFIT COALITION SEEKING
FUNDING TO OPEN RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL
IN MONTANA FOR BEHAVIORAL &
LEARNING CHALLENGED YOUTH
ANASAZI Foundation, Three Rivers Wilderness Programs, and
the Lee Pesky Learning Center announced today their collective
intent to open The Jackie Weimer School, a non-profit residential
school, near Bozeman, Montana serving young men with behavioral
problems and learning disabilities.
"Learning differences can often be the root cause
of behavioral issues in adolescents," says Mike Merchant,
President of ANASAZI Foundation, a nationally accredited
outdoor behavioral healthcare (OBH) provider serving youth
with drug and alcohol abuse problems, oppositional behavior,
school failure, severe family conflict, depression, and attachment
issues. "Too often, learning differences go undiagnosed
and untreated, thus, making it nearly impossible to effectively
address behavioral issues."
According to Merchant, "Youth with learning differences
and behavioral problems function well in long-term (45 to
60 day) outdoor therapy programs. However, without effective
interventions and continued care to help them transition
back into their homes, schools, and communities, the ability
to sustain changes is minimized." Understanding this
need for continued care after a wilderness therapy program,
ANASAZI Foundation, Three Rivers Wilderness Programs, and
the Lee Pesky Learning Center have formed a strategic alliance
to open the Jackie Weimer School near Bozeman, Montana.
The programs offered at the Jackie Weimer School and at
Three Rivers Wilderness Programs will be philosophically
and therapeutically consistent with The ANASAZI Way-a proven
and effective approach developed by ANASAZI Foundation that
builds on individual and family strengths and focuses on
facilitating a change of heart as well as a change of behavior. "ANASAZI
Foundation has been successfully helping families for more
than 15 years," states Robert Weimer, a Three Rivers
co-founder. "The level of training and quality of care
provided by ANASAZI is a standard in the industry."
The Jackie Weimer School will utilize a tutorial model.
Treatment and education will be individualized. Prior to
entering the school, youth will participate in a wilderness
therapy program and receive testing and evaluations. "We
have found that the most accurate diagnosis is made after
several weeks in the wilderness," states Marylis Filipovich,
LCSW, Executive Director of Three Rivers Wilderness Programs.
Scheduled to open in the fall of 2004, the campus for Jackie
Weimer School is located on 60 acres near Bozeman, Montana.
The 60 acres was developed as a residential high school and
made available to ANASAZI Foundation by Florida philanthropist,
Ron Woods. "The opening date is contingent upon completing
funding objectives," says ANASAZI President Mike Merchant. "For
those who are looking to make a difference in this world,
this is a worthy cause with a tremendous social benefit."
ANASAZI Foundation is actively soliciting contributions
for working capital. To date, they have received financial
support from friends of the Weimer Family, ANASAZI Foundation,
and Forever Young Foundation.
The Lee Pesky Learning Center www.lplearningcenter.org is
a non-profit, educational organization specializing in helping
individuals with learning disabilities. Its philosophy is
that all people can be taught how to learn and deserve to
reach their fullest potential in reading, writing and math.
Based in Boise, Idaho, the Center opened in 1997 to celebrate
the life and accomplishments of the late Lee David Pesky
and to offer children and adults opportunities similar to
those that helped Lee successfully overcome his learning
disabilities. The Center will provide diagnostic tools and
assessments and literacy education to therapists, teachers,
and behavioral health technicians at ANASAZI, Three Rivers
Montana, and the Jackie Weimer School.
ANASAZI Foundation www.anasazi.org founded
in 1988 by Larry D. Olsen and Ezekiel C. Sanchez, utilizes
a sound clinical model, nurturing approach, and the outdoors
as a treatment milieu for youth 12-17 and young adults 18-25
with substance abuse as well as emotional and behavioral
concerns. Headquartered in Mesa, Arizona, the mission of
ANASAZI Foundation is to prepare parents and children to
turn their hearts to one another and walk in harmony in the
wilderness of the world.
Three Rivers Wilderness Programs is a wilderness therapy
program headquartered near Bozeman, Montana. Three Rivers
specializes in treating children with behavioral problems,
learning differences, and attention deficit hyperactivity
disorders. The behavioral problems can include drug and alcohol
abuse, oppositional behavior, school failure, severe family
conflict and depression. Three Rivers utilizes The ANASAZI
Way-a proven clinical model developed by the ANASAZI Foundation.
It serves youth aged 13 to 17.
The Jackie Weimer School will meet all state and local licensing
requirements. In addition, it will operate under the same
accreditation standards as ANASAZI Foundation. ANASAZI Foundation
is Nationally Accredited through the Council on Accreditation
and is currently in review for JCAHO Accreditation. The educational
curriculum will be accredited through the North Central Association.
The school is named for Jackie Weimer, a former wilderness
instructor for AYA in Colorado and Montana. Jackie died in
a climbing accident in the spring of 2003. "Jackie's
dream was to provide a school that would serve the specific
needs of youth who have participated in wilderness programs-a
school that would honor, develop, and build on their accomplishments
in the wilderness," says Three Rivers co-founder Bob
Weimer, Jackie's father.
To make a contribution or to obtain additional information,
please contact Mike Merchant at ANASAZI