Residential Recreation

Our Residential Recreation Program is supported by the Assessment, Plan, Implementation, and Evaluation (APIE) framework. The APIE framework organizes the development of child-specific recreational goals and aspirations.

smiling child climbing a tree in a harness

Recreational Goals

Our Residential Recreation Program is supported by the Assessment, Plan, Implementation, and Evaluation (APIE) framework. The APIE framework organizes the development of child-specific recreational goals and aspirations. Each child in residence develops recreational goals based on physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and spiritual domains.

Each child in residence develops recreational goals based on physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and spiritual domains. These goals are aligned with and supported by recreational programming offerings.

For example, in the physical domain, a child may choose to join the undefeated Andrus Bulldogs basketball team or the Red Cross-certified swim instruction program. In the cognitive domain, children may participate in Saturday morning read-a-thons followed by visits to public libraries. In the emotional domain, children may join one of the various creative or culinary arts offerings to deepen their self-knowledge and promote self-expression. In the social domain, all children are encouraged to participate in campus-wide monthly birthday celebrations and engage in competitive board games, which serve to deepen their connections with each other and improve frustration tolerance.

In the spiritual domain, the recreation team supports mindfulness Sundays and participates in local youth groups, spiritual gatherings, and celebrates a wide variety of religious holidays on campus. For example, for the first time this year, the campus celebrated the Hindu Festival of Lights known as Diwali, and a Jewish member of the recreation therapy team will lead a Passover Seder. Both inclusion efforts are intended to deepen understanding of differences and promote tolerance.

Each child in residence is assessed upon admission, participates in the development of their own ever-evolving recreation plan, assessed on progress towards their identified goals, and celebrated for their unique efforts.

Ropes Course Challenge Program

Our Ropes Challenge Course Program features 27 high, low, and specialty elements across our 110-acre campus including cabled traverses, vertical climbs, and high-intensity swings and zip lines. Through experiential education on these physical obstacle challenges, children and teens learn to communicate effectively, solve problems collectively, trust one another, develop stronger relationships, and build as a team.

Hope Space: Therapeutic Farm

Our Therapeutic Farm is home to three Huacaya Alpacas: Zingaro, Amadeo and Phoenix; six Nigerian Dwarf Goats: Billy, Bella, Caleb, Bumblee, Tinkerbelle, and Curry; four Alpine Goats: Krystal, Blaze, Bolt and Leo; three Merino Sheep: Dolly, Molly and Lolly; and fifteen chickens that include a mix of Orpington, Brahma, and Dominique.

Our children have the opportunity to work with, care for, and socialize with all of the animals throughout the Hope Space. This level of interaction is often calming and encourages stable emotions for our children.

Hope Space: Therapeutic Horticulture

Our Therapeutic Horticulture Program includes Greenhouses, Gardens, Lavender Fields, and a Therapeutic Labyrinth. Our children find a sense of responsibility in planting, nurturing, and harvesting plants which helps foster an understanding of the circle of life.

Our gardens and green houses are filled with fruits, vegetables, and herbs including Swiss chard, beets, carrots, lettuce, beans, tomatoes, peppers, oregano, thyme, tarragon, parsley, rosemary, basil, anise, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, as well as flowers including sunflowers, pansies, petunias, marigolds, and many more!

Hope Space: Honey Bee Hives

Our five Bee Hives, are each home to approximately 50,000 honey bees, producing approximately 150lbs of honey each year.

Our children assist in harvesting, bottling, and of course, taste-testing our honey. Besides being a sweet treat, our fresh local raw honey is a powerful antioxidant and has many health benefits.

R.I.D.E. (Realizing Improvement through Dirtbike Education)

Our national award-winning chapter of NYPUM is our most popular Recreation Therapy program at ANDRUS. This program aims to develop personally and socially responsible youth through the exciting sport of off-road dirtbiking. NYPUM is a proven effective motivational tool for our youth in the Residential and Orchard School programs. Participants strive to achieve personal goals, develop teamwork, and even mentor one another as Junior Leaders as part of their “NYPUM Youth Contract”. Aside from learning to ride on our 110 acre campus in Yonkers, NY, our team learns to care for our bikes, give back to the community through service projects, and participate in the annual Northeast NYPUM Rodeo with other chapters from around the US.

Athletics

Andrus participates in the CCAAA sports league along with 6 other residential schools. The CCAAA offers our children the opportunity to play on a Basketball, Flag Football, and Softball team. The “ANDRUS Bulldogs” Basketball Season runs from Jan-March, Softball Season runs from May-Jun, and Flag Football Season runs from Sept-Nov. Team sports help teach our adolescents accountability, dedication, and leadership. Here at Andrus, sports teach our residents team work and problem solving skills. When our residents set goals, they thrive as a team. This motivates them to succeed in areas of academics, fitness, and building social relationships.

RAP Studio (Realizing Artistic Potential)

Our RAP Studio Program encourages our children to use their creativity and develop talents in new and challenging ways. With a plethora of instruments, a sound booth, and a recording system, our children can write, record, and edit music with the help of our talented staff. Through the use of music and music creation, children and teens process their life experiences through artistic expression and have the opportunity to be featured on one of our albums.

Swimming Program

Our Swimming Program at ANDRUS features a recently remodeled 80-foot indoor swimming pool which is available to our children daily. Whether enjoying the calming sensory stimulation provided by water-immersion, learning critical life skill such as deep-water swimming, or developing self-esteem boosting vocational skills such as training to become junior lifeguards, the pool provides ample opportunity for therapeutic leisure.