ANDRUS’ Yonkers campus combines our award-winning Orchard School, offering K-9 special education to 152 emotionally troubled children,with our Residential Treatment Program serving 83 children. Clinical Services are woven into all of our work to ensure that children and families will build brighter futures. Sanctuary, our model for addressing stress and adversity, emphasizes caring and hope. Our historic 110 acre campus is a beautiful and safe environment where children can learn to understand their experiences of loss and stress, manage their emotions and develop new coping strategies for success.
Based on a Satisfaction Survey distributed to the parents of recently discharged students, ANDRUS’ campus programs are very effectively meeting the needs of the families we serve. The survey asked parents to rate both our special education school and our residential treatment program on a wide range of factors, grading each category from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest possible score. To view the survey results, click here. Beyond our Campus Programs’ excellent core services – ANDRUS provides an extensive array of Campus Therapies that enable the vulnerable children in our care to find safety and emotional stability, manage their loss, and find a path to brighter and better futures. The therapies listed below are highlights of the ANDRUS experience, unique to our agency and proven in their effectiveness to build confidence, hope and stronger emotional lives.
Ropes Challenge Course: A series of 20 stations around our 110 acre campus involve rope ladders, swings, and other gymnastic equipment to help children learn to work in a team, solve problems, and build confidence and trust. This process is invaluable in helping hurting children learn that they can depend on other people, something often sorely lacking in their young lives.
PAWS – Pets at Work for Sanctuary: This pet-assisted therapy program helps a child build a relationship with dogs trained to work with vulnerable children. The children learn to accept unconditional attention and affection from the pets. They make great improvements with social skills and emotional management. PAWS helps children reach out beyond themselves to accept responsibility for another living thing and build relationships of affection and trust.
NYPUM – National Youth Program Using Mini-bikes: Emotionally challenged children usually fear risks and physical challenges. The “Bikes” program offers them the excitement of racing with significant safety measures (helmets, elbow guards, mouthpieces, etc.) in place. The children maintain their bikes, thus building their sense of responsibility and pride of ownership. Accepting the challenge of the bike course engenders a sense of accomplishment, overcoming of fear, and the joy of childhood invincibility.
Drama Therapy Partnership: ANDRUS partners with Creative Alternatives of New York (CANY) to employ theater arts in a group therapy setting. By acting out their personal histories, children are able to verbalize the traumas they’ve faced in the third person. Group work sparks the children’s creativity and imagination, helps them to write alternative narratives for their traumatic events (the future need NOT echo the past), practice new roles and behaviors, and increases their capacity for resilience and growth.
Therapeutic Gardening: To reinforce the lessons of the Earth Science curriculum at the Orchard School, students “get their hands dirty” as they learn to grow vegetables, flowers and herbs in ANDRUS’ two recently renovated greenhouses. Beyond the academic learning that takes place, the children gain pride in their accomplishments, patience in nurturing plants (and often themselves) and a tangible lesson that real growth and change takes time.
Labyrinth: The labyrinth is a contemplative walking path that promotes resolution of loss and helps our children to literally take steps toward their future. When a child cannot manage his/her emotions, staff directs him/her to ‘walk it out’ in the concentric circles of the labyrinth. Our experience has been that quite often by the time the child has completed walking the maze, emotions have settled down and he/she can see the situation more clearly and calmly. The children also study its historical use and significance, tend to the medicinal and therapeutic plantings at the site, and observe the birds and wildlife that come to the labyrinth.
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