The REACH Program, based on the Valhalla campus, provides residential and educational services for young men and women who have multiple challenges with intensive treatment needs, including those with developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. Its goal, with consideration for the cognitive limitations and mental health needs faced by these youngsters, is to teach appropriate behaviors and help them develop the skills needed to interact and live in the larger society.
This program has an expansive community garden and animal assisted intervention milieu allowing youth to learn about themselves and develop new skills as they become responsible for caring for plants and animals. These nature-based programs are integrated into classroom education and after-school activities like the Cornell Extension and our official 4-H chapter.
The new state-of-the art Jennie Clarkson Opportunity Center has become the hub of the campus, facilitating educational, vocational, recreational, performing arts, health, and physical fitness activities. A perfect venue for life skills development, youth work on cooking and healthy eating, along with the other individualized goals outlined in their transition plans.
Professional staff from all departments communicate consistently with families who play an important role in their child’s development and future planning. Some of our youth graduate to an adult placement under OPWDD or OMH, while others successfully return to their home environment.