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Association of Recovery Schools Visits Winfree Academy’s Award Winning Teen-Addiction Program

RICHARDSON –Friday, January 27, 2016, The Association of Recovery Schools (ARS) made a first time visit to Winfree Academy Charter Schools in Richardson, Texas to meet and exploreCourage, Winfree Academy’s award winning addiction recovery program. In the past few years, ARS has been working to create open dialogue and awareness with high schools across the nation that have recovery and sobriety programs. The goal of this visit was to meet and share components of the Courage Program as well as begin the process of strengthening school’s with ARS.

The Courage Program at Winfree Academy began in 2003 and was nationally recognized in 2007 for being the #1 Anti-Drug Abuse Program in the State of Texas by the Today Foundation. The program initially began to work with students who were coming out of treatment programs due to substance abuse. Over the years, it has continued to adapt and incorporate working with students not only who are struggling with active addiction but has grown to further accommodate students with issues related to depression/ anxiety, eating disorders, and other self-harming patterns.

“We are so impressed,” says Kristen K. Harper, Executive Director of ARS. “ You’ve found a way to take a free standing program and put a specialized therapist in the school building working one on one with students.”

“The fact that  our students are allowed an opportunity (in a safe environment) for academic success and recovery at the same time is what motivates me everyday,” Director of Courage Program Chuck Jaecks says.

The visit with ARS concluded in discussion with Richardson Principal, Dr. Stubblef
ield, about the future goals of the program. Winfree Academy continues to increase the level of involvement in community affairs, events, and focused development in student and community leadership

Winfree Academy is a Free Public Charter High School serving grades 9–12. Students are prepared to be college and/or career ready upon graduation from high school. The Courage Program at Winfree Academy is unique in that it allows for students to participate in a classroom setting and work toward academic achievement while working to sustain and maintain their recovery and sobriety from drugs and other self-defeating behavior patterns. In addition to having teachers in different content areas work with the students, each Courage Program has a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor that works directly with students to provide both academic aid and addiction support as needed.

The Courage Program is available at our Grand Prairie, North Richland Hills and Richardson campuses.

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