The Academy at SOAR began as a semester program in 1988, where students spent almost the entire time touring the Desert Southwest. We expanded the semester program to the Appalachian Trail semester in 1993.

Adventures in Education

The Academy at SOAR is an accredited LD boarding school for youth with ADHD, ADD and learning disabilities between grades 7 and 12. We are unlike any other program in the country. We provide differentiated instruction and curriculum for each individual student by utilizing a project-based, experiential model encompassing both academics and independent living skills instruction. Our learning environment is structured to address the variety of learning styles, interests, and abilities found within the classroom, whether indoors or out.

Our student centered model actively engages students in the learning process through instruction in: Academics, Adventure, Self-Advocacy, Independent Living Skills, Project Based Learning, Field Studies, Community and Empowerment.

Teams will rotate between residential living at North Carolina’s Balsam Campus, and on wilderness expeditions across the country. Students will participate in high adventure activities such as canoeing the Florida Everglades, hiking the Grand Canyon area, rock climbing in Seneca Rocks of West Virginia, and snorkeling among the tropical reefs of Belize. These expeditions provide the venue for developing problem solving skills, effective communication strategies, and increased self- awareness and general social skills, as well as an integration of academic skills. By achieving success in our adventure-based programs, each student builds essential self- esteem and self- confidence that translates into all walks of life.

* What is Differentiated Instruction? This means that the curriculum is taught to students based on their individual learning style and grade level–i.e. auditory learners are presented with information verbally, whereas visual learners are provided with written components.

Wheel of Success

Wheel-of-Success

Who Do We Serve?

The Academy at SOAR is an academic adventure program and residential LD boarding school for youth with learning disabilities or differences including but not limited to ADHD/ADD, Dyslexia, and Executive Functioning difficulties. Many of our students are kinesthetic or experiential learners and benefit from a hands-on approach to learning. The Academy at SOAR utilizes the natural environment and adventure activities to provide students with ADHD/ADD and LD the opportunity to experience success and personal growth and development. We encourage all students to explore their incredible talents and gifts with the belief that their future is intertwined with these strengths and abilities. Many students with ADHD/ADD and other learning disabilities have experienced low self-esteem and academic frustration prior to attending SOAR. We believe that the boarding school and adventure based environment provided at the Academy at SOAR help students overcome these frustrations to experience success.


Academy at SOAR Adventures in Education- Student Blog

Academy at SOAR Adventures in Education! Welcome to our Blog! The students at the Academy at SOAR have created this blog share with you our ...


The Academy Experience

After attending the Academy at SOAR for 2 wonderful semesters, my 13 year old asked to participate in an 8 week Spanish Immersion work/study program with one of the teachers and 2 other staff members from SOAR. He and 3 other boys lived and worked and traveled throughout South America for 2 months. The entire trip was chronicled on a Shutterfly site, so that I could follow the trips and watch my boy succeed! They visited the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon. They went ice climbing and sand surfing. John came home with a far greater sense of self confidence and a much greater capacity for cooperating at the family level. Having experienced another culture and the many different levels of socio/economic communities that he took part in, he has a far greater appreciation for the things he has at home. He has completed the equivalent of 1 year of HS Spanish, and he is only entering the 8th grade. I highly recommend becoming involved with the Academy at SOAR and any of it's summer programs.

~ Parent of Student