Unique school helps parents, kids overcome challenges

Published: Mar. 22, 2013 at 8:58 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 22, 2013 at 10:21 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Greater Baton Rouge Hope Academy is a unique school that is helping parents as much as it is children.

"GBRHA is a nonprofit school. We serve children with learning challenges. We have students ages 4 through their 21st year," explained Principal Linda Stone. "We have a high school diploma program and a program for those who are not quite able to achieve that they can work on academic skills and life skills."

In addition to helping students thrive while facing challenges, Hope Academy provides some valuable tools for parents as well.

"We find that networking here with our parents is one of the strong holds of our school. It allows us to have parents who have already gone through a certain stage have experiences, help others," said Stone.

Once a month, the school hosts a lunch seminar with local psychologist Dr. Donald Hoppe. During each free one hour session, parents can find some answers to the many questions that come with raising a child with disabilities.

It's very important for people to be informed because knowledge is power. And I think the most important thing for a parent is to learn everything they can about what their child is dealing with," said Hoppe.

For example, the topic for March was how and when to talk to children about disabilities.

"What to say to children at different ages; how to prepare them for questions they're going to get; how to deal with the people who walk up to you and say things like, 'What's wrong with your child?'" said Hoppe. "Sadly that happens."

The seminars are free and open to the public for anyone to attend. For information on the subject and when the next seminar will be, call the school at 225-293-0141 or go to http://www.hopeacademybr.org/.

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