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ABC for Fitness
The ABC for Fitness program shows schools how to restructure physical activity into multiple, brief episodes of activities into classrooms throughout the day without taking away valuable instruction time. This teaching manual provides instruction for teachers to incorporate short bursts of activity in the beginning of each class. ABC for Fitness ensures that all students obtain the level of physical activity that is essential for good health and well being.
Building Bridges Education Program for Girls
Building Bridges Education Program for Girls is a community based, specialized classroom for girls who are in need of a safe and educational learning environment that takes into account the unique academic and behavioral health needs of girls and young women. This program provides an alternative for girls who are at risk of more restrictive levels of care due to challenges experienced in a public school setting and for those who may be transitioning and reuniting with their families and communities after discharge from an out-of-home placement such as residential or foster care.

Six Domains of Adolescent Female Development and Functioning
Building Bridges is a gender responsive program that implements the Six Domains of Adolescent Female Development and Functioning.
  • Physical - Relates to health and nutrition, body image and female development.
  • Sexual - Relates to sexuality, sexual behavior, pregnancy, and childbirth.
  • Relational – Relates to interpersonal relationships with peers and family members.
  • Emotional - Relates to mental health diagnosis and the ability to recognize and modulate distressing behaviors and express one's emotions constructively.
  • Intellectual - Relates to academic performance and intellectual growth
  • Spiritual - Relates to personal growth, self discovery and connection to others.

Eligibility Requirements:
  • Ages 12-18 years old
  • Diagnosis of Socially Emotionally Disturbed, Individual Developmental Disabilities, or Other Health Impairments
  • Referral From The Attending Public School District
  • Individualized Education Plan or 504 Plan
Cognitive Behavioral Interventions for Trauma in Schools (CBITS)
CBITS is a structured, system-focused therapy that includes a wide variety of skill building techniques. All are based on the premises that thoughts and behaviors can cause negative emotions and patterns of interactions with others. CBITS makes maladaptive thoughts and behaviors more functional by changing those thoughts.
Community Meeting
A structured group setting in which students respond to positive peer pressure, trust and safety to determine their own outcomes of success in a non-threatening environment. The keys to successful community sessions consist of repetition, structure, support, and consistent expectations.
Continuum of Care
Merakey offers a complete range of programs to support individuals as they move through their life span. Merakey serves individuals throughout Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland and Louisiana.
Eclipse Model ECLIPSE is the curriculum utilized for social skills training so that the student can be successful in a classroom and in the community. This curriculum teaches students self regulation, organizational skills, theory of mind, (the ability to recognize and understand other peoples thoughts, feelings, desires, and intensions in order to make sense of their behavior and be able to predict what they will do next), and lessons for teaching the "hidden curriculum"(Unspoken social rules or norms).
Extracurricular Activities
Merakey provides our students with the option of participating in sports events throughout the school year. We are involved in Special Olympics through bowling, skiing, swimming, track and field, golfing and ice skating. We also have intramural basketball teams for our students to get involved in.
Food Scholarships
Food scholarships are provided to families who have difficulty providing their child with lunch because of economic hardship. They ensure students receive a lunch to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Foundation Supports
The mission of the Merakey Foundation is to support the individuals and families served by Merakey and to secure the programs that make a difference in so many lives daily.
Growing Great Girls
A gender responsive life-skills curriculum created to meet the needs of at-risk adolescent girls, taking into account female development and the female perspective. It celebrates girlhood and will inspire girls to find their voices. Curriculum is strengths-based, holistic and designed to guide girls through a dynamic experience by gaining practical skills, critical thinking skills and self discovery.
Health and Wellness Curriculum
FLASH (Family Life and Sexual Health) curriculum is utilized to teach sexual education and social skills. It addresses physical development, promotion of sexual health, prevention of disease, affection, interpersonal relationships, body image, and gender roles.
Motivational Interviewing (MI)
Step-by-step model for assessing teacher's organizational, instructional and behavior management practices to develop intervention options for overcoming obstacles to change. Changes are practiced at the classroom level rather than targeting individuals.
Nursing Services
TIER   I  - Regulatory Requirements
  • Approved First Aid Kit / OSHA Kit on site
  • *Nursing services shall be provided for students through the public school system in which the private school is located or by a certified school nurse employed by the private school. To include the following: *Immunization Records , *Medical Examination, *Dental Examination, *Vision Screening, *Hearing Screening, *Height / Weight Measurements, *Tuberculosis Screening, *Scoliosis Screening

TIER  II – Best Practice Standards
  • LPN – PRN on Site
  • Understand and implement Merakey's policies and procedures relating to child abuse, standard precautions, incident management / critical event reporting, medication dispensing, storage and safety.
  • Liaison with the home school district nurse – ensuring the district receives medical records.
  • Medication Administration as needed
  • Complete Medication Administration Record Audits
  • Ensure appropriate doctors orders for medication are on file
  • Maintain current medical releases
  • Monitor side effects of medication
  • Monitor student allergies / medication list
  • Provide literature on side effects of medication
  • Assessment of self administration of medication
  • Develop individualized goals in order to increase independence with self administration of medication
  • Develop medical trainings as needed
  • Participate in PQI – Performance Quality Improvement (address medication errors through the PQI Process)
  • Communicate with co-workers and supervisors in a timely manner of situations that affect student care or well being
  • Facilitate Medication Administration Training
  • Facilitate CPR / First Aid Training
  • Nutrition Curriculum
  • FLASH (Family Life and Sexual Health) Curriculum
TIER   III  - Medically Fragile
  • System / Process to evaluate need for increase in LPN hours on site based on medically fragile students.
  • Ongoing management / support of medical needs
  • Liaison with medical personnel to ensure we are meeting the students medical needs
  • Facilitate / develop individualized medical trainings as needed
Nutrition Curriculum
The interdisciplinary nutrition education curriculum includes lesson plans for grades K-12 and is organized into four grade groups (K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12). The lesson plans, aligned with Pennsylvania Academic Standards, include activities that encourage physical activity, contain website links to additional resources, and provide ideas that assist schools with implementing the local wellness policy and involving parents, food service, and the community.
Olweus Bullying Prevention Program
Olweus Bullying Prevention Program The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) is designed to improve peer relations and make schools safer, more positive places for students to learn and develop. It is the most researched and best-known bullying prevention program available today. The OBPP is designed for elementary, middle, and junior high schools to improve peer relations and make school safer. Schools should be a more positive place for students to learn and develop.

Goals of the program also include:
  • Reduce existing bullying problems among students
  • Prevent the development of new bullying problems
  • Achieve better peer relations at school
Outcomes of the OBPP program include:
  • 50 percent or more of a reduction in students reporting being bullied and bullying others
  • Significant reduction in students reporting general antisocial behavior, such as school bullying, vandalism, school violence, fighting, theft, and truancy
  • Significant improvement in the classroom’s social climate and greater support for students who are bullied
  • Stronger, more effective interventions for students who bully.

The OBPP is a long-term system-wide program for change involving components at four levels: the school, classroom, individual and community. Schools that implement the OBPP have sought funding from many different sources, including U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and county health department.

The Merakey Centers in Reading and Carlisle have been awarded a grant for the OBPP. However, all of our schools adopt anti-bullying prevention principles.
Peer Mentoring Program
Peer mentoring programs match older students with younger students in one-on-one relationships to provide guidance and direction for students. Through this relationship, peer mentors provide advice and support and serve as role models for younger individuals.
Ready, Set, RELAX!
A research-based program of relaxation, learning and self esteem for children. The program helps students see through stress and anxiety in their lives and focus on the important concepts of self-understanding and long-term personal growth. This program combines music, muscle relaxation and storytelling to promote a healthy imagination, openness to learning and a positive self-esteem.
SNAG (Starting New at Golf)
The SNAG Golf System contains age appropriate equipment and programming to effectively teach the game of golf to people of all ages and ability levels. SNAG golf offers the versatility to learn and play in any environment you choose. Merakey has partnered with the SNAG program and has implemented the program across all of our schools. Our students have been able to learn about golf in a positive fun atmosphere, and have been able to transfer the benefits of SNAG into other areas of life such as leisure, social skills, and character development.
Transition Services
Services are available to students 14 years and older as stipulated by each student's IEP. Transition services provide students and their families with practical and experiential skills and knowledge that will support student's transition into adult life.

We have developed a Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) Step-Down Plan that is closely monitored and used to provide information based on student performance data to the IEP team. Our LRE Step-Down Plans are individualized and designed to assist with the maintenance and generalization of skills acquired in order to transition to the student’s LRE. We work closely with the receiving teacher, staff, and home school district to ensure the student is successful while transitioning back to the LRE. 
Phase I
Our LRE Step-Down Plan takes place in two phases. Each member of the student’s educational team is involved in this decision-making process. During Phase I, the educational team will determine specific outcomes/skills based on the unique educational needs of the student that are deemed necessary for success in the general education environment. There is no set timeline for Phase I and the team may come back at any time to review and/or revise the outcomes based on student performance data; including anticipated areas of additional needs and any relevant information provided by the parents or other team members.

Phase II

As the student demonstrates consistent performance with each of the planned outcomes, the team can move to Phase II to discuss the transition back to the student’s home school district. This process will be considered on an individual basis and in accordance with the student’s IEP. Phase II outlines the student’s readiness to return to his/her home school district and the plan for the transition to the LRE, including the start date, daily schedule, supports required, etc.
Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
TF-CBT is an evidence-based treatment approach shown to help children, adolescents, and their caretakers overcome trauma-related difficulties. It is designed to reduce negative emotional and behavioral responses following child sexual abuse and other traumatic events.

Merakey accepts every person as a whole, supporting all of their unique needs and celebrating all successes no matter how big or small. We encourage and cultivate students to be leaders and successful members of society. Through the tools and trainings each student receives they are able to leave our environment and apply those skills within their community. At Merakey we strive for excellence, integrity and quality.