What happens when a child experiences failure? When all the way through his young life he has felt battered, bewildered, forsaken and forlorn?
A diminished spirit is the result of difficulty learning and understanding the world around him. Social, familial, emotional and academic challenges have produced a child who does not have a clear sense of self, if at all. The nature/nurture principle of childhood development has in some way ‘malfunctioned’ for the child, who simply wants and needs to be loved and understood. Anxiety, depression, ADHD, denial, and avoidance are some of the examples of impediments to his self-awareness. The child’s inability to learn and cope in an unpredictable world creates an inability to feel and relate to himself and others in a healthy way.
The road out of nowhere
The soul is the ‘flame’ of possibility. The child’s soul is that little flickering flame of potential that needs to be fanned and nurtured with love and understanding by the child himself and by people and experiences around him.
A learning program is created. An alternative therapeutic program whose mission is to do just that: to nourish the child from the inside out. The campus is the land of Israel. A unique and individualized program is created for each student, with a focus on both traditional and alternative therapies. It is a program with a family feel. A supportive network of positive experiences and messages is fostered with each student. The teachers, therapists, counselors, and mentors believe in every student’s ability to achieve and realize his potential in a warm, caring and positive environment.
With clear, constant and consistent messages, he is helped to navigate his process of self-awareness, forward. One step forward and two steps back or two steps forward and one step back. He is never alone! The ‘family feel’ nature of the program gives the student a sense of belonging. His very presence in Israel makes an impact by his contributing to it, in some way.
Every student must participate in the Character through Challenge and Community Outreach programs. The CTC program is a weekly hike where the student works cooperatively and creatively as the group explores Israel’s natural environment. Community outreach provides an opportunity for the student to help other people, building empathy and compassion.
After-school programs and internship opportunities help each student build skills and enhance their abilities and creativity while giving structure and meaning to the school week.
Each element of this open program has therapeutic value. The student is encouraged to make good choices while learning coping strategies and finding emotional balance. The Psycho-educational premise of the program is based on the belief that every child deserves another chance to experience success and feel a sense of accomplishment.
The parents, program, and the student all need to recognize the child’s need for self-actualization The triad model of collaboration where all three components of the team appreciate the value of the program facilitate success. This model of productive and constructive communication is imperative to the student’s overall well-being. The efficacy of the program depends on it.
A unique program
UCanachieve Learning Alternatives is a program which resides in the soul of the heartland: Jerusalem. It will forever strive to imbue each child with ‘light’ in his proverbial ‘darkness’, hence building a happier and healthier being, in an ever challenging world.
Joanne H. Simanowitz, MS DTR., Programming Director, UCanachieve Learning AlternativesPlease share this post!