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This fundraiser ended on 08/15/10

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Raising money to provide therapy to children/teens in the YMCA Youth program for the Alternative Learning Center. AKA kids removed from the school system for behavioral problems.

Recently was approached by the YMCA youth Director regarding our program Meaningful Solutions.  We provide counseling called Equine Assisted Psychotherapy which consists of a Licensed Professional Counselor a Equine Specialist and our horses.  This approach appeals more to children because you talk less and do more.

We have a program for 8 weeks where we will use a treatment goal of skill building week by week until the final week.  They will learn things like social skills, communication skills, team building, self esteem building, setting boundaries, respect, self-control, peer pressure, beliefs, choices and consequences among many other topics.

All this is done in a therapeutic approach using on the ground activities with the horses.  The horses being very sensitive and able to read body language give the children feedback as to what is and is not working in the session.  If they are not congruent, (inside and outside feelings match) then a horse is not willing to work with them, they don't feel safe.

By having the horse point out the problems the children don't feel so picked on and shamed by the adults.  They want to then please the horse and get the horse to cooperate which leads to changed behavior and positive outcomes.

I realize 8 weeks is not a long time but this is a pilot program for the YMCA for their school year program.  We are showing them what can be accomplished in this short amount of time and how much more we can do with a school year.  They don't have funding at this time for new endeavors such as this.  The children receive very little professional counseling other than art therapy and some small group talking.

I want to help the world become a better place by helping our youth succeed. If they feel better about themselves, are heard and validated they will act out less and cost the school system and tax payers less in the long run let alone be better citizens.

Please help me provide this very basic need for these children.  Thanks.

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