ANDRUS provides an extensive array of Recreation Therapy Programs which enable the vulnerable children in our care to feel safety and emotional stability, manage their loss, and discover pathways to brighter futures. The special programs on our campus listed below are highlights of the ANDRUS experience, unique to our agency and proven in their effectiveness to build confidence, self-esteem, social & life skills, teamwork, physical & emotional wellbeing, and lasting trauma-recovery.
I just wanted to say Thank You! My daughter has been at ANDRUS for over 1 year now. I am so proud of her and what she has accomplished in the past year. I owe it all to the wonderful staff.
Her transformation began at ANDRUS, where love, patience, encouragement, and the right interventions at the right time literally saved her life and mine.
It really does take a village to raise a child and together, we are all making it happen. Thank you so much for all that you do.
Before I came to ANDRUS, I was always mad and scared and frustrated. My staff has helped me work through so many really tough situations and I’ll always be grateful to them for that. In a way, I feel like ANDRUS saved my life.
Thank you and everyone at ANDRUS for everything you do for my son, I appreciate your infinite patience with him.
I appreciate my staff because they really listen to what I want and need.
If I could, I would testify in front of the State Assembly: “If ANDRUS can handle my son…they can handle ANYBODY!”
As a single mom, I was worried for how we would readjust when my son graduated from ANDRUS and moved home. I was amazed at how the staff continued to support us and check in on him after graduation, I know they genuinely care about his success and we are both so grateful for that.
My daughter is understanding and succeeding far beyond what she was able to in her previous schools. It’s amazing to see how much more she enjoys school now!
ANDRUS gave my son the chance to realize his potential, to realize that he is intelligent and that he can succeed. I have never seen him more confident.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.