Positive Education Program (PEP) helps troubled and troubling children learn and grow.


PEP’s results-based wellness model makes PEP the expert for the delivery of integrated services to troubled and troubling children and their families. Recognized for its proven success, PEP contributes to national changes in its areas of expertise.

Guiding Principles

In pursuing its mission and vision, Positive Education Program:

  • Remains deeply committed to the principles of Re-EDucation.
  • Utilizes The Sanctuary Model to create safe, therapeutic environments.
  • Adheres to the highest level of ethical standards and integrity within the organization and throughout the community.
  • Instills in children, youth, and their families a sense of optimism, dignity, and hope for the future.
  • Focuses on achieving clear and measurable outcomes.
  • Is culturally sensitive and responsive to children and families served and to staff.
  • Treats all people with respect.
  • Demonstrates financial responsibility.
  • Supports collaboration among programs, disciplines and staff.
Program Philosophy

At Positive Education Program, work with children and families is grounded in the Principles of Re-EDucation (Re-ED) and The Sanctuary Model.

Re-ED , a child and family-centered approach to care for children and youth facing mental health challenges, is an open paradigm that accentuates the strengths within each individual.

The Sanctuary Model creates a safe, nurturing therapeutic environment that supports children and youth impacted by trauma. It helps them reorganize their self-defeating beliefs and instills hope for the future.

The principles embodied in Sanctuary smoothly integrate with Re-ED, the philosophy on which PEP was founded. A cornerstone of PEP’s success and key principle of the Re-ED philosophy is the emphasis on developing trust between the child and adult. Sanctuary informs the subtleties of developing and enhancing that meaningful therapeutic alliance.


In 1971, Positive Education Program was created in consultation with area school districts to help them serve their most challenging students. Initially, PEP functioned as a consulting organization, but quickly it became apparent that districts needed specialized centers dedicated to meeting the educational needs of their most troubled and troubling students. In 1975, PEP opened its first Day Treatment Center providing a blended educational and mental health program. Since then the agency has grown in size and scope. Today, PEP operates seven Day Treatment Centers, Early Childhood Plus, Connections and PEP Assist.

PEP has grown in size and reputation. Locally and nationally, PEP has been recognized for its excellent programming. In 1996, the U.S. Department of Education identified PEP’s Day Treatment Centers as one of six model special education programs in the country. In 2000, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice recognized PEP for being an example of a model program providing intensive interventions to troubled students. In 2003, Positive Education Program won the Woodruff Prize, a local honor bestowed upon an agency demonstrating excellence in mental health care. In 2007, PEP Day Treatment services were highlighted by the American Institutes for Research as one of three effective alternative education programs in the United States.


PEP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Contributions are acknowledged and recognized in PEP’s annual report, unless made anonymously. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law