Appalachian Academy

Pollen8 Family Services a safety net around the children we service to broaden their developmental outcomes and extend their positive educational experiences beyond the classroom. Appalachian Academy is a program of not only intervention and treatment but allows for the opportunity to be preventative in the improvement of the lives and academic success of children who are at-risk. The program collaborates with area South Charleston (Kanawha County) schools to identify academically at-risk children who live in poverty with behavioral issues. Appalachian Academy offers tutoring, play therapy, and mentoring to develop coping skills and promote better behavioral outcomes at school. Appalachian Academy is an opportunity for children to interact and share experiences in a safe and nurturing environment, while cultivating self-efficacy and learning valuable preventative behaviors.

Goals and Objectives

Appalachian Academy is an inter-organizational collaboration between Pollen8, Inc., the city of South Charleston, Rock Lake Presbyterian Church, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, and Bridgeview and Richmond Elementary. The partnerships seek to improve the lives and educational attainment of children in the South Charleston (Kanawha County) communities who live below the poverty line. Rock Lake Presbyterian Church donated their Community Life Center at 801 Lincoln Drive in South Charleston (former Rock Lake Pool and Putt-Putt). The Community Life Center is a secured 9,966.30 square foot building with an art room, game room, stage, library, full kitchen, and access to 3.9 acres of outside play space.

Program Details

Appalachian Academy is an afterschool enrichment program for youth 3rd through 5th grades. Our mission is to provide programing and support for the social, emotional, and intelligence of our scholars through: art/ media expression, homework assistance and tutoring, and in-school mentorship. Our goal is to instruct the scholars on behavior modification strategies which will include the involvement of the parents, teachers, and community partnerships. Appalachian Academy features a daily meditation, art expression activity, recreation time on an outdoor natural playground, education support; along with a healthy dinner and snack featuring the vegetables from our own community garden. We encourage community involvement and connections.

Program highlights are:

  • Youth lead YouTube show
  • Meditation room
  • On-site counseling for scholars and families
  • In school mentorship
  • Radio pod-cast
  • Outside natural playground with obstacle course
  • Mini-golf
  • Basketball court
  • Art room
  • Youth cooking
  • Outside classrooms