In 1948, a school was founded in Queen Creek, Arizona 30 miles southeast of Phoenix, which sought to help at-risk children and adolescents to develop self-respect and self-confidence while providing vital social, educational and vocational skills which allowed youth to return to their communities as productive young adults.
A strong athletic legacy took root–which continues at Canyon State Academy to present day–in part, because of the involvement of Frank Kush as the Executive Administrator of the Advisory Board. The athletic complex which bore his name on CSA’s campus housed a football program, which, once established in 1995, ran three undefeated seasons.
In 2000, Canyon State Academy revised its residential program to offer academic, career and technical training, athletics and evidence-based treatment curricula to give at-risk youth opportunities to improve their lives.
Today, the Canyon State Academy campus has continued to grow into an innovative and effective treatment program for youth. The wide continuum of programming is possible through numerous community partnerships which includes Sun Valley Community Church, government agencies, stakeholders, businesses and universities. The Canyon State Academy School is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that is approved by the State of Arizona as a “Qualifying Foster Care Charitable Organization.”
Rite of Passage
Canyon State Academy is operated by Rite of Passage, a leading National provider of evidence-based therapeutic and educational programs for youth. Rite of Passage provides a diverse continuum of care with evidence-based programs in education, youth shelter programs, family and community aftercare and intensive treatment for youth involved in the juvenile justice system.
For over 35 years, Rite of Passage has been improving the lives of youth. Through its work at Canyon State and other academy programs, Rite of Passage has developed the Academic Model™ framework to articulate its program philosophy, methodology, and specific evidence-based practices.
THE ACADEMIC MODEL™
The Academic Model™ is the framework for Canyon State Academy's programming and services. Beginning with a foundation of safety, accomplished through caring relationships, qualified and trained staff, fosters a culture where students can learn.
Staff model pro-social skills, utilize the appropriate amount of empathy and provide youth with problem resolution skills. Assessments identify individual student needs and strengths and develop their intrinsic motivation for change.
Evidence-based cognitive behavioral interventions help students develop skills to overcome aggression, disruptive behavior, and heal from traumatic events in their lives. Since many of the students will return home, family involvement and treatment are provided at an appropriate intensity.
The normalized environment enables each student to develop and practice skills in the therapeutic, academic, vocational, health/wellness, family and community activities. Through these experiences, the student gains competencies and skills to attain Treatment Plan goals; then, new goals are established and the process of positive change is moved forward, creating a new vision and hope for the youth.