At The Children’s Ranch, our students do not ride, but focus instead on learning to care for our animals. We tailor our programs to the unique needs of each student. Our current program offerings are below.
We begin by teaching students to care for the Ranch’s animals, including horses, rabbits, chickens, and guinea pigs. Activities include grooming, mucking, feeding, leading, lunging, joining up, bathing, and socializing with other students. Students learn the intricacies of how prey animals feel, and how they respond to their human caretakers and the environment, building a relationship that feels safe and connected. As students learn to navigate these sensitive creatures, they often learn to express their own feelings. Students focus on becoming expert animal caretakers. By learning to care for other creatures – large and small – students develop a sense of identity and belonging to a community, and experience a sense of meaning through purposeful work. Individualized 45-minute session; offered weekdays after school.
Assisted Ranch Lessons
If the Ranch team determines that additional staff assistance is required for a student to safely access our Ranch program, and work alongside and with other Ranch students, then the student enrolls in Assisted Ranch Lessons. The team for Assisted Ranch Lessons includes a developmental specialist. This ensures the student can safely access our Ranch Lessons in our community setting and make meaningful connections with other students. Individualized 45-minute session; offered weekdays after school.
Ranch Corps is a transition program where adolescent Ranch students are given personalized training and supervision to help them move into the role of Ranch mentor. With support from Ranch staff, Ranch Corps students work towards independence. This support includes scaffolding, organization, reminders, feedback and emotional support. The Ranch Corps program grew out of our commitment to helping adolescents become developmentally ready to shift their focus outside of their own needs, and towards serving others. Ranch Corps members mature before our eyes as they shift their focus from being served by the Ranch, to becoming part of a team serving others.
Lulu Xochi Calderon Ranch Program
The Lulu Xochi Calderon (LXC) Ranch Program gives young adult Ranch students a chance to put their skills to use serving the animals they love. Our young adult Ranch students often face dramatic challenges, and many feel socially isolated once schooling opportunities have come to an end. As adults, they are ready to learn to work. And the Ranch is the perfect place to start — mucking stalls, grooming horses, and feeding animals. We provide whatever support our LXC students need to get their work done and serve their community.