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Synopsis

“Captain English’s Legacy” is about a wealthy and concerned Indiana business leader of the early 1900s who leaves the grounds of his summer home in Southeast Indiana as a place to work with indigent children having problems as his final heritage. Years later, on these very grounds, a program working with troubled elementary school-aged youth for over four decades quietly portrays the myriad of problems young children sometimes have to face in their lives, the resilience such children often demonstrate, and the caring but steady methods that work well with the majority of these young children no matter what the problem. The Englishton Park Summer Program for Children, as it is now called, is a short-term intensive residential treatment center for children aged 6-12 suffering various behavioral maladies - a program now into its fourth decade. Often nicknamed “Camp Englishton”, the treatment program is disguised as a summer camp complete with Indian tribes, cook-outs and campfires. But underneath is a solid therapeutic treatment program designed around the specific needs of each child - a program that emphasizes predictability and stability to support each child. “Captain English’s Legacy” is also a story of the devoted hard-working young adults who give themselves totally to the needs of these children, often sacrificing their own ego in the process, thereby changing them forever in small degrees. It is mainly a story of success: a rare example of a federally-funded one-year demonstration project that is going even better four decades later under private funding; a staff who make sure every child receives everything they have to offer the children they are working with; and a vivid portrayal of the social ills that produce these wounded children. The story is sometimes sad, sometimes humorous, sometimes pitiful, sometimes courageous - but it is always uplifting and hopeful.

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