Growing Our Impact: Education


Because students come into the classroom with individual needs, educators and schools are challenged to support students on their unique journey to academic success.

That’s where Four Oaks comes in.

We collaborate with school districts across Iowa to create school-based programs to meet the needs of at-risk students. Our innovative therapeutic classrooms support students who are struggling to regulate their emotions due to mental health and trauma and help prepare them for a successful return to the traditional classroom setting.

In FY21, in partnership with the Garner-Hayfield-Ventura Community School District, we were able to grow our impact by establishing a new therapeutic classroom site in the North Central Iowa community of Ventura, Iowa.

“Meeting the needs of children is more challenging than ever,” Tyler Williams, Former Superintendent of the Garner-Hayfield-Ventura Community School District, said. “Area school districts are thrilled to have Four Oaks as an option to meet these needs.”

For students like “Alex” (not his real name), the Ventura therapeutic classroom has transformed school from struggle to success.

“School was not always a place Alex wanted to be,” Kelli Mitchell, Senior Program Manager, said. “He had difficulty regulating his emotions, which resulted in episodes of physical aggression and running away. Staff worked hard to build a positive relationship with him through patience, consistency, and safety. Co-regulation strategies, social skills and trauma groups helped Alex learn how to communicate his needs and what he is feeling in the moment instead of acting on it.”

Alex now has a positive outlook on school, is able to role-model skills he has learned, and shows pride in his schoolwork.