Educational Services | Recreational Program | Counseling Services
Transportation Services | Spiritual Guidance | Independent Living
Many of the children Harvest serves have been educationally neglected. Many are three years or more behind in the basic skills of reading and math. Each child’s academic functioning is evaluated and a school placement is made which can best accommodate his needs. Most children attend either Lee County Public Schools (7-class period schedule) or Scott County Public Schools (block-schedule). Here an educational plan is designed to meet their needs whether they need advanced placement or regular academic classes, or special education. A private Christian School is available for families who feel this is the best option for their child. Tuition may be extra, but some scholarship opportunities exist. Children who complete high school and desire to attend college or vocational school can remain at Harvest while they do so.
Recreation is a vital part of the ministry of Harvest. In keeping with our desire to develop the “whole” child, Harvest seeks to provide a well-rounded program of recreation and leisure-time activities. Our motto is “love equals time.” Most of the children who make their home here have never had anyone willing to take the time to take them swimming, fishing, biking, hiking, or just to spend time with them. This is a primary tool our staff uses to let each child know they are special. At Harvest, the recreation schedule is designed to include activities that foster social skills and teamwork. Teamwork is promoted through the use of group games and community activities such as youth sports teams. Visits to museums, parks, and theaters give children the opportunity to learn about the culture and history of our region. Each year the Garden City Chapel by the Sea affords the children a trip to the beach to include a week’s accommodations along with daily activities. Most of the children we serve have never been outside of Southwest Virginia. This highlight of the year provides many memories as they see the ocean for the first time.
Counseling is an integral part of the Harvest program. Harvest provides counseling services to children and their families designed to strengthen family ties, correct disruptive behavior, and reunite families. Licensed Clinical Social Workers and Professional Counselors provide individual therapy to the children. With a focus on overcoming the negative circumstances of abuse, neglect, abandonment, and anti-social behaviors that placed them here, children are encouraged to learn to make good choices and accept responsibility for their own actions. Family counseling is offered for families who are working toward reunification. Our therapists help parents understand the situations that resulted in their children being removed from their home. An emphasis on improving parenting skills helps parents learn proper family roles and boundaries and how to set and enforce rules and consequences. As a result of proper counseling, 63% of our children are eventually able to return to a biological family member or placed in a permanent family setting.
Harvest staff provides transportation to routine doctor, dentist, and mental health appointments.
Transportation may also be provided to assist with placements, court appointments, and visitations. There is no additional charge for trips up to two hours from our campus. If transportation is needed for farther distances or for overnight appointments an additional
charge will be arranged.
As a Christian organization affiliated with the Free Will Baptist Church , it is only natural that Christian values and religious education be integral parts of the childcare program. In addition, Harvest’s commitment to a balanced approach to childcare would dictate an emphasis on spiritual matters. Role modeling by our staff is the primary way that religious values are taught to those in care. Daily devotions are planned and conducted by childcare workers. The children are required to attend, but are in no way forced or coerced into participating. Church services are attended as a group and serves as a source of community involvement. Most children find church an enjoyable experience and most will volunteer to become involved. Some children will sing special songs, recite memory verses, or participate in plays and youth groups.
Harvest is committed to assure our children have the skills they need to provide for themselves once they turn 18 or become emancipated. Therefore, when our children are 13 or older, we work with them on independent living skills. They learn household skills such as chores, maintenance, laundry, and food preparation. Children 15 and older work on getting their driver’s license, getting a part-time job, and money management and banking. Older teens work on preparing for complete independence through assistance with securing housing and transportation, and making educational and vocational services.