LANDRUM, S.C. (WSPA) – Project Hope Foundation’s Hope Academy is busy getting everything ready at its new school campus in Landrum before it opens this September.
The school, fully furnished and complete with a cafeteria and gymnasium, sits on 31 acres and was donated as a gift to the foundation as a permanent campus from Laurin and Tab Patton.
“We intended to buy the property as an investment,” Laurin Patton says. “But when Tab saw the property, he thought of HOPE.”
Hope Academy is part of the Project Hope Foundation, a nonprofit organization that offers a lifespan of services to the autism community. It was founded in 1997 and is accredited by the SCISA.
The new facility will become the permanent home for Hope Academy, which gives the program room to grow. “We can double, triple the amount of kids we can serve,” says Lisa Lane, Project HOPE Foundation Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director. “We think parents are going to love having a school that is meant for their children.”
Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director Susan Sachs says the small, inclusive classrooms will have low student-to-teacher ratios for children in pre-school through 5th grade. Classrooms will include students with and without autism, instilling values of acceptance in typical learners and allowing those on the autism spectrum to learn to interact with and imitate their typical peers. Curriculum is based on South Carolina State Standards.
“In addition to having quality teachers, we will have board certified behavior analysts on staff,” Sachs says. “We have an education coordinator here as well to make sure each child’s curriculum is appropriately individualized for their specific needs.”
The school will also hold its Bridging the Gap educational program at the Landrum campus, which serves students with autism from grades pre-school through 12th grade using applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy.
Parents who are interested in enrolling their children in Hope Academy’s inclusive classrooms for the 2019-2020 school year, which starts September 3rd, can call Susan Sachs at 864-313-4413.