School-Based Residential Therapeutic Program Enhanced with Activities to Build Skills and Confidence

An afterschool program for both residential and day school students provides a broad range of activities.

In addition to the educational and residential programming at Green Chimneys, residents maintain a structured yet diverse schedule of activities outside of their school and treatment program. Afterschool clubs, trips, special events, charity projects, and even campus jobs are part of their experience living on the Green Chimneys campus, and help them be a part of the environment, discover their own special talents, and develop the skills and confidence to grow into independent young adults.

The Donnelly Family Student Residences houses 88 students in a state-of the-art complex comprised of three two-story dormitory buildings containing 11 living units. Each unit consists of eight private bedrooms, dining space, TV and recreation area, two private full bathrooms, and a supervisor’s office.

Each floor includes offices for a Residential Administrator and the Social Workers designated to the individual residents.

Several dorm units are designated for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder to provide an even more structured, cohesive, and supportive living environment.

David Hall houses 14 students in a separate two-unit dorm that focuses heavily on life skills instruction and vocational training. Residents are taught to be more independent and self-reliant as they prepare to make their mark on the world.

All residential students are provided with daily programming designed to meet their individual needs, as well as those of the group in that unit. Residents are also encouraged to participate in peer mentoring and monthly community service projects, selected and organized by the residents themselves.

Each living unit employs five direct care staff members - Unit Supervisor; Assistant Unit Supervisor; Social Worker; and two Youth Counselors - who provide specialized services that include therapeutic recreation, group work, independent living skills, mentoring and round-the-clock supervision.

The Administrative Team is comprised of five Residential Adminstrators; a Behavior Support Coordinator; and an Assistant Director. Led by the Residential Treament Center Director, the team offers guidance, oversight, and support in areas such as organizational processes and staff development.

Dorms are equipped with laundry and kitchen facilities, as well as multi-purpose rooms for family visits, treatment-related meetings, and small group activities.

A nutritious breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the campus Dining Hall seven days a week. Residential students eat breakfast and dinner with their dorm mates and staff. During the school day, students eat lunch with their classmates and teachers who model meal time conversation and table manners with the class. Students are responsible for clearing their place at the table and utilizing the recycling center for scraps, non-recyclable items.

Low-fat milk is served with the meal and ice water is available at all tables. Nutritious, low calorie snack choices, including fruit, are offered to students at a time scheduled by the classroom teacher. Water is available throughout the school day, meals and at recess.

Special dietary restrictions can be accommodated but require a health provider’s statement that clearly outlines the restriction, and should be discussed during the Admissions process.

If you have questions about your child’s diet, you may contact the dietician through the Health & Wellness Center at 845.279.2995 x 253.

Therapeutic Recreation
Our Recreation Department is dedicated to meeting the individual therapeutic needs of each child through a recreation and art therapy program that provides the opportunity for children to develop their social, physical and emotional coping skills.

RTC_Recreation.jpgCulturally diverse programs address issues such as socialization, anger management, self-esteem, and expression of feelings, and emphasize respect, responsibility, conflict resolution, along with leisure participation. A variety of programs, from sports to arts, utilize available resources on campus and within the community. Therapeutic recreation and art therapy programs emphasize participation, respect, responsibility and conflict resolution.

Following admission, each child is assessed for his or her strengths and limitations. Together, the child and recreation staff create an individualized plan, giving students purposeful therapeutic interventions and goals.

Art Therapy
Led by licensed and board certified art therapists, art therapy groups are provided as part of our specialized evening groups, available for any resident based on a referral basis. Groups focus on various goals, such as identity formation, processing grief and loss, and emotion and sensory regulation, and follow a structured format: Reinforcing the rules of the art room, engaging in an art therapy directive, and processing or sharing the artwork to promote appropriate social interactions and to provide an individual sense of empowerment, self-discovery, and personal fulfillment. Art made in art therapy groups is focused more on the process of art making rather than the product, with broader goals based on sensory integration, mindfulness, expressing emotions in a healthier way, and using art making as a coping skill.

After School Program
An afterschool program for both residential and day school students provides a broad range of activities that include academic support, mentoring, youth development, arts, and sports and recreation. Green Chimneys residential students enroll in club(s) of their choice as part of the dormitory program.

After school programming operates Monday-Thursday until 4:30pm, mid-September through mid-June. Two days of the week are designated for children 11 and under, and two days for youth 12 and over.

Activities & Clubs:

  • Seasonal Intramural Sports:
    Basketball, Softball, Flag Football,
    Floor Hockey, Soccer, Volleyball
  • Homework Help
  • Chess
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Fitness Club
  • Farm and Garden Programs
  • Yearbook
  • Music and Chorus
  • Lego Club
  • Knitting & Crocheting
  • Judo
  • Adventure Club

Leisure, Diversional, and Therapeutic Activities (evenings, weekends and recess weeks)

  • Arts & Crafts
  • Book & Reading Clubs
  • Bowling
  • Bungee Trampoline
  • Frisbee Golf
  • Geocaching
  • Roller Blading/Roller Skating
  • Scooters
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Wii & Kinect Games

Therapeutic Outdoor & Adventure Activities

  • Camping Trips – As part of our behavior management program, students can earn the privilege to participate in two- or three-night camping trips during the summer. The trips focus on planning, cooperation and developing life skills
  • Hiking – Ecology-based hikes teach children about trees and plants, animal tracking and environmental education. Hikes also work on developing life-long healthy leisure skills.
  • Biking – Students learn how to ride and maintain bikes and are taught bike and road safety while having fun in a safe environment.
  • Canoeing/Kayaking – Students learn to canoe and kayak in the Great Swamp, adjacent to Green Chimneys. They learn proper paddling skills, safety procedures, cooperation and environmental awareness.
  • Snowboarding/Skiing/Sledding – Students take trips to regional mountains and are instructed in safety and basic skills.
  • Challenge and High Ropes Course – This course encourages teamwork and pushes students beyond their perceived limitations, in a safe and supported environment.
  • Climbing Tower – Students build confidence, self-esteem and trust as they gain skills in the controlled environment of the climbing tower.

Additional Therapeutic Adventure activities may include:

  • Rock climbing
  • Caving
  • Standing Paddle Board
  • Camp Fires
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Surfing
  • Water Skiing
  • Survival Skills


Trips/Special Activities

  • Overnight Camping Trips
  • Day Trips to Bear Mountain
  • Big Apple Circus
  • Movie Nights
  • Holiday Activities
  • Cultural Events
  • Dances/Theme parties
  • Talent Shows
  • Carnivals





Green Chimneys has its own indoor pool and every child has the opportunity to have swim lessons during their school time. Scheduled “open swim” hours are available for residents in the evening and on weekends. Deep water swimmers have the opportunity to be on the afterschool intramural swim team. Lifeguard training for children who qualify is available as part of Vocational Training.

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