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Combining Counseling with Hand Tool Woodworking

This one-of-a-kind program incorporates the art of hand tool woodworking with traditional counseling methods to develop the total young man – academically, socially and emotionally.


Grand River Academy firmly believes in providing programs that support healthy lifestyles and the enrichment of character through emotional awareness as part of its mission to prepare young men for lifelong success. As such, GRA repurposed the lower level of Shepard Hall as a dedicated space for individual and group therapy, as well as an interactive and recreational therapy component with the hand tool workshop, in conjunction with GRA’s strategic vision.

Incorporating Hands-on and Project Based Activities

The Productive Growth Center assists with:

  • Teaching young men the value of hands-on, project based activities within their counseling sessions
  • Integrating skills learned directly into recreational and social activities
  • Acclimating young men to focus their energy in a productive and positive manner
  • Empowering students to identify and work with issues to assist in educational and personal growth

"With the availability of a hand tool workshop, students can individually, and collectively, complete purposeful projects that impact not only their emotional growth, but the campus community as a whole.” - Mr. Thomas Polak, GRA School Counselor and Faculty

For more information on this program, please contact:

Mrs. Melissa Nipper
Dean of Academics, Guidance, and College Placement
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: (440) 275-2811