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The Othello Outlook
Othello, Washington
April 26, 1995     The Othello Outlook
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April 26, 1995

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Page 6 - The Outlook - Wed., April 26, 1995 BOYS AT AGAPE Boarding School, located south of Othello at the former radar base, correct each other's papers during school studies. By Nadine Baldridge The barracks housing and larger buildings atop Radar Hill once was home to dozens of young men serv- ing in the U.S. Air Force. Now the former radar base, lo- cated about six miles south of Othello, is home for a different group of boys. The 150youth, ages when it still was in Stockton. The school pulled up stakes just ten days later and he found himself at the Othello radar base, where he eventually became a Christian. "I realized that they really cared," he said. "It helped me to respect my dad and my mSm. I realized through that that my par- Boys are admitted after parents are sent an information packet, including an application and hand- book of school rules and expects- tions. There now is a waiting list since "as many as a dozen a day" are turned away," Jim Clemensen said. When there is an opening, the 12-18, are getting strong doses of ents are my friends." parents are contacted. Whenever the Bible, discipline and general education so that they can one day The Clemensens were long-timepossible, Agape prefers that the return to their parents as welcome foster parents and decided about boy arrive with his parents for an and pleasant members of their five years ago to open a group orientation tour. The parents and home. Brian Clemensen said hechild then may meet privately to families. Agape BoardingSchool, founded worked for the State of California's discuss their situation. Tuition is by the Clemensen family, serves group home system and, based on on a sliding scale and is up to $850 as a large foster family for youths his experiences and their studies, per month for each child. throughout the United States. Up the family decided against a reha- Most admit their sons on the bilitationorpsychiatriccarehome, spot. Afew boys =are escorted in the morning at 6 a.m., they They even, tualIy decided to model by professionals," said Brian Clemensen, the school director. In spend the day working individu- their boys home after a school for somecases, the parents live too far ally on school lessons, performing troubled girls. chores and attending chapel be- away to accompany the boys to fore the lights are turned out at Jim Clemensen, the Agape ad- Agape, he said. 9:30 v.m. ...... ministrator, becamehostto 14boys Boys admitted tothe boarding Many of the boarders admit to inone year's time and began look- school are assi ed a buddy " a having rebelled against their par- ing for more space. The old radar youth who has been on the pre- ents, and sone report they were base outside Othello appeared to raises for several weeks or months involved with drugs, alcohol or suit the need, and he rented one gangs before arriving at the rural dorm building. The owner later Othello school. Under the strict donated the base, of which the regimen, they learn that obedi- remaining half will belong to ence and the work ethic have their Clemensen this year, he said. rewards and many of the young The school's students were pug men have become Christians. to work sprucing up the buildings "Our goal is to help families that are having problems with teenage boys," said Jim Clemensen, who with wife Kathy, son Brian and daughter-in-law Kirsty began Agape in Stockton, Calif., before moving to Othello. "A lot of them have had a bad life...and they need people to reach out," added Kathy Clemensen, who refers to herself "Ma'am." Boys attending Agape don't al- ways like it when they arrive, they and staff members say. But they learn to adjust "as soon as you let it," said one, and they are given increasing responsibility as they prove it's deserved. "I've been in a lot of places be- cause I was rebelling and sneak- ing out at night," said a youth who wasn't fond of the private board- ingschoors controllingatmosphere at first. But, he added, "the staff members care about you" and he found "a friend in Jesus." Another youth said he attended a Christian school when younger, but he began associating with gang members and illegal substance users as he grew older. One day, strangers visited his home, put handcuffs on him and took him to Agape, he said. A third youth told of his parents separating when he was age five and he eventually wound up in a psychiatric hospital. He found it was "pretty easy to fool" th e hospi- tal staff. He entered the Agape school and grounds. All of the painting, roofing and other projects were accomplished by the boys with staff help. i!ii ii:ii%ii .................... C:i:;i::i~::?i!??i::::i:!:i:i:i:;!: Full 1 1/2" Hcrmned Edge ALL SHEAR CUT EDGES FOR LONGER LIFE 10% discount on orders of 100 or more Refrigeration & Heating PLUMBING-ELECTRICAL HEATING.AIR CONDITIONING-REFRIGERMION AND SHEET METAL WORK FAX NO. (509) 765-0979 10158 Kinder Rd., Moses Lake, WA 98837 765-7138 or 488-6611 I II I I I I I I II and who has proven responsibil- ity. The buddy teaches the new boy the school's rules and ensures he stays out of trouble, Brian Clemensen explained. As boys progress, they can be- come buddies, dorm room leaders or junior staffmembers. There are about 25 staff members to super- vise, cook, etc. The school uses the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) cur- riculum used by many home- schoolers and private schools. New AFTER A DAY'S study, students at Agape Boarding School enjoy play in the late afternoon before dinner and chapel. The school is located at the former U.S. Air Force radar base about- six miles south of Othello. students are given diagnostic tests to determine their skills levels, and they then are given Pace work- books for independent study in math, English, social studies, his- tory, science and word-building. Daily school goals are set for students. By completing the mini- mum required, a student can fin- ish 12 Paces (the equivalent of one year's work) during the school year, Brian Clemensen said. Some Agape students finish 24 Paces in a year, he said. The school has four quarters during the year. After a two-week break, many students attend sum- mer school and spend the after- noons recreating or working. Sample workbooks displayed include a social studies book of American history, covering such topics as religious and philosophi- cal background. A test asks who headed the Church of England in colonial America and which two men defended British soldiers in- volved in the Boston massacre. A spelling book covers such words as "immerse," "assert" and "swirl," using each in sentences. Amath Pace book says,"God used principals of geometry when He created flowers, snowflakes and even man." Jim Clemensen said he hopes to eventually start a vocational school at Agape for older boys. Once a youth reaches age 18, he remains at Agape only at his ch oice since he then is an adult. Between 4 and 5:30 p.m., the boys have free time or they can continue working if they're not finished with school assignments. A shower must be taken some time during those 90 minutes pre- ceding dinner. Chapel is at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Agape Baptist Church from Tri-Cities conducts the ser- vices on Sundays. The Washington Department of Social and Health Services inves- tigated Agape Boarding School A MESSAGE TO OUR CUSTOMERS: and sought court action about three years ago due to such find- ings as "poor" general housekeep- ing and sanitation, sleeping room doors being locked, and over- crowded sleeping areas. Adams County Community Counseling Services contacted The Need DSHS in November 1992 because the school is across Sagehill Road from an adult chemical depen- dency program and asked that the state investigate to ensure both operations had proper licenses and met requirements. The Washington State Board of Education granted a license for Agape to operate year-round as a private school, leadingto dismissal of the DSHS lawsuit in Septem- ber 1993. Kathy Clemensen invited the community to visit Agape Board- ing School at any time, including chapel. "We would really like people to come up and meet us in stead of talk about us," she said. Five boys who sang for the Greater Othello Chamber of Com- merce recently reported their lives have been turned around by Agape. Four reported plans to become either ministers or mis- sionaries. Connell SALMON AND STEELHEAD Today's Approach Grant Count Options We need healthy salmon and steelhead runs to continue generating hydroelectricity --Prepare for additlonal endangered fish species lisr, ings --Seek ~elief in the courts--Try through legislative action to change laws --Build coalitions among all" affected parties for common approaches to solutions "X --Develop a sound biological plan that seeks fish run recovery with balanced actions in the 4 Hs -- hydro, hatcheries, harvest and habitat --Region spending $2 million per day on salmon --No significant benefit --Additional endangered fish species listings are likely --Cost impacts are falling disproportionately on Grant County PUBLIC UTILITY DISTRICT OF GRANT COUNTY Cont. #COLUMH 1077KM Students for an education ington University the Rural American Fund or Fall 1995. The scholarships ition, books, room are renewable. To qualify, students least 23 years old, Our Goal ! legs for the first time minimal currently unfulfilled in their ing in and hailing community, and a Washington state. Applications are University Hall 401. Candidates completed applicationsl April arship Fund, P.O. Box'. Harbor, WA 98277. EPHRATA -- Dennis ] will discuss water ing all landowners Grant County p.m. Thursday, Inca Restaurant. invited to attend. STRAT --Start with good stewardship for our fl@ and water resources --Develop aM build SUpFOrt for a ~oun# biological fish recovery plan based o~ the "b~t science." A Mid-Columbia River Plan that links to a regional re.~l~ plan --Build sffectlv~ coalitlon~ that ~u ound local and regi --Promote the plan through'public e_~lucation on this vital issue --Create a budge1; for salmon recoverY that assures only the most cost effective measures art Implemenf~ / --Avoid endangered fish species listi~#J and serious disruptions to the I asin'# economy i