Friday, October 24, 2014

Core Value Award for Relationships - Anthony Burns

Each year, Methodist Children’s Home recognizes staff members who exemplify the Core Values of the organization. Staff are nominated by their peers and are recognized at an all-staff meeting during which the Core Awards are given.

The core values of MCH are:
Christian Principles

Anthony Burns, at-risk coordinator, received the Core Award for Relationships. The Core Award for Relationships is defined as someone who builds healthy relationships through communication, respect, trust and love. According to his nomination, Burns “has a positive rapport with students at the MCH School and builds excellent trust-based relationships with them on a daily basis. Anthony has a strong and humorous personality and is often called to ‘break the ice’ in difficult situations. Anthony is a wonderful role model as one of our Safe School Ambassador facilitators. He is always willing to lend an ear and give advice to students, treating each student with respect. Anthony models Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) on a daily bases and consistently uses TBRI language with students, challenging them to focus on MCH Life Skills.”

Burns has worked at MCH for seven years. “Being recognized for a Core Award involving relationships with our youth is a great honor,” Burns said. “I believe establishing productive relationships with our youth is an important process and appreciate the opportunity to do that here at MCH.”

Amy Grisham, director of school support and Burn’s supervisor had this to share: “Building relationships is such an important part of working with our youth and Anthony excels at this and is a pleasure to work with each day.”

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Great Escape for Outreach Staff

Dallas Outreach
Each year, Methodist Children’s Home celebrates its staff by hosting a day of games, lunch and time for fellowship during the Great Escape. This day of thanks allows staff the opportunity to recharge and enjoy the company of their coworkers. Staff from Waco and the Boys Ranch gather at Heritage Park on the Waco campus for a cookout and games. Although outreach staff are unable to attend the Waco celebration, they are invited to plan their own day of relaxation and fun in their communities. 

Below is how some of our outreach offices celebrated this special day:

“For our great escape outing, Abilene staff went bowling at Primetime. Anna was the bowling champion of the day! After bowling we went out for salad and pizza. It was a great day of fun and fellowship and gave us a chance to get to know Sarah better since she is the newest member of our team.” – Megan Harbin, Director of Family Outreach - Abilene

“The Albuquerque staff chose Art Attack as our Great Escape activity.  We each picked a piece of ceramic pottery and had two hours to paint and be creative!  Each of us took our time as we selected a piece and we all enjoyed the opportunity to sit together, share a few laughs and focus on something other than work!  What a wonderful opportunity MCH gave us to connect and enjoy each other.  We are thankful!  And how neat that we’ve all got a special piece of pottery to remember the day by!” – Alicia Carter, Director of Family Outreach - Albuquerque

“The Houston Outreach Staff enjoyed a nice long lunch at Grand Lux Cafe in the Galleria.  We enjoyed talking and laughing with each other.  Our day was topped it off with great desserts and a shopping excursion at Nordstrom Rack.  This was a great way to relax, enjoy each other’s company and take a break from our hectic schedules.” – Veronica Whalon-Peters, Director of Family Outreach - Houston

“The Lubbock Outreach office spent their Great Escape enjoying lunch at a local restaurant and an afternoon of crafts. We visited a local business, Pinspired, to make a fall or winter decoration of our choice. The idea of their business is to provide people the resources to bring their Pinterest inspired ideas to life! Staff members were able to laugh, relax, fellowship with one another, show off their skills, and enjoy an afternoon away from the office! It was great to see everyone's creativity! We all enjoyed the experience and may be back for another day of crafting soon!” – Jessica Ham, Case Manager - Lubbock

“Lufkin Outreach celebrated the Great Escape by grabbing a quick lunch then bowling.  We had a great time together and had several laughs.  Diana enjoyed the challenge of trying to distract me from a strike and LaKiesha played a good game that was neck and neck with me, but I pulled ahead toward the end!” – Amanda Grimmett, Director of Family Outreach – Lufkin 

“I think the consensus is that most of us had never worked for an organization that cared for their employees as much as MCH does. The Great Escape is just one of the ways MCH takes care of their staff so they are refreshed and can continue to do wonderful work for the children and families. This year was my first year to attend The Great Escape and what a blessing it was! As a team we decided to go to Chris & Sam’s for lunch. After having the scrumptious meals we headed to Pottery Café to show our artistic sides. Although some found the painting experience somewhat stressful due to their perfectionist personalities the majority of us found it to be a fun, relaxing and bonding experience. We will forever hold this Great Escape in our hearts and mind. In the end all the paintings turned out beautiful! What a wonderful experience we were able to have thanks to MCH, our great administrator and our director for allowing us to choose a place as a team for the Great Escape.” - Edith Wineland, Administrative Assistant - Tyler

“For our Great Escape, we all got pedicures and then had lunch at a sweet little tea room, where they had prepared an assortment of teas, pastries and finger sandwiches. Tas made all the arrangements for us. We had a relaxing, lovely day. Rosemary shared that this was her first time ever getting a pedicure! It was a wonderful team building experience that I think, brought us all a little closer together.” – Tashika Smith, Director of Family Outreach - Dallas 

Thank you to all our outreach staff for their hard work in their communities throughout the year!

Abilene Outreach

Houston Outreach

Lubbock Outreach

Lufkin Outreach

Tyler Outreach

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Heart O’ Texas Fair and Rodeo 2014

Methodist Children’s Home FFA students had a strong showing at the 2014 Heart O’ Texas Fair and Rodeo. The fair was held at Extraco Events Center from Oct. 2-11. MCH students showed lamb, swine and steer during the event. Students care for and prepare the animals for showing at the Boys Ranch as part of the FFA program. 

Below are the results:

Duroc - Class 2:  Chayce – 6th; Class 3:  Jacob – 1st, Prince – 2nd, Julio – 3rd, JB – 4th, Marvin – 5th
Fine wool:  Quentin – participated
AOB Heifer:  Star – 3rd; Mikayla – participated

Spot – Class 1:  Diego – 6th
Cross – Class 3:  Noah – 9th, Mikayla – 7th, Sonja – 8th, Nick – 4th, Edgar – 6th; Class 4:  Dagim – 5th; Jalyn – 7th; Justice – 7th

Southdown:  Paloma – 6th; Iyanna – 7th; Jessica – 17th
Medium wool:  Star, Hawa, and Emily participated

Simbrah Steer:  Justice – 4th
Chianina Steer:  Raymond – 6th; Damion – 7th

Congratulations to all our FFA participants this year!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Tyler’s “Day for Kids”

Staff from the Tyler office spread the word about MCH Family Outreach services while supporting a great family cause at the annual Day for Kids on Saturday, Sept. 20. The event, hosted by the Boys and Girls Club of Tyler, was held at Bergfeld Park in Tyler. 

Day for Kids is meant to encourage families to spend time together. Throughout the day, guests enjoy games and activities for children and learn about community resources. The event not only encourages families to spend more time together but also educates them about a wide variety of services available in the area. 

“Day for Kids was a huge success,” said Edith Wineland, regional administrative assistant. “It was refreshing to see all the businesses and community come together for the kids. I believe we opened some minds to the idea of providing an even safer, and healthier environment for much deserving children.” 

While some of the Tyler Outreach office played bean bag toss with the children, other staff members talked with parents about the services offered by MCH. The event was attended by approximately 500 people. The president of the Boys and Girls Club is Kevin East, a foster parent with MCH. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Family Day – Fall 2014

MCH brought families together during its fall 2014 Family Day on Friday, Oct. 3. Family Day is hosted twice a year for families of youth in our residential program to visit the campus. The fall event is held for the Waco campus at the Johnson Student Center, and the spring event is organized by each individual home unit.

“Family Day is an opportunity for parents or guardians to spend time with youth engaging in fun activities, experience campus life and learn Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) techniques and how they can use TBRI to positively impact their family,” said Jeff Creel, associate administrator for Waco campus.

TBRI is an intervention model for a wide range of childhood behavioral problems designed for children who have experienced relationship-based trauma. MCH has partnered with the Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University to implement TBRI methods in our everyday care.

On Friday, families joined youth for the pep rally in the afternoon followed by bingo and board games at Johnson Student Center. Parents then attended a training session on the IDEAL response, a TBRI method for correcting a youth’s negative behavior. That evening, families were invited to attend the MCH football game versus Lometa.   

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Afterschool Programs

The Recreation program of Methodist Children’s Home offers youth from the Waco campus and Boys Ranch a variety of six afterschool programs to choose from,” said Anthony Mead, afterschool coordinator.
“Choir and theater offers the opportunity to compete in the Texas Christian Athletic Fellowship (TCAF) league and show off the youth’s acting and singing abilities,” explained Mead. “Drum line teaches instrumental skills, music theory and these youth will perform at pep rallies and football games. The Independent Living program helps juniors and seniors prepare for college and independence. Horseback riding teaches care of horses and riding skills, and the physical education (PE) class consists of organized games and sports that offers a PE credit.”

“The afterschool programs are an essential part of seeing our youth learn more about themselves and as team members,“ he added. “These programs embody the MCH life skills. We try to give our youth holistic programs in which they can express their creative side and step out and shine. These programs are a continuation of the great works that are being done in and through our youth throughout various programs.”

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Training Program growth strengthens MCH

The MCH Training Department is going through a time of transition and growth in an effort to help MCH develop an agency wide training program, an important goal in the current strategic plan. The expansion of the training program will build on the strong foundation of training that has been offered by staff members John Warren and Stormy Cole, along with other MCH staff, in recent years.

With the addition of new staff last summer, the Training Department is developing a comprehensive training program to help enhance the professional development of employees in all departments at MCH. The training staff is seeking input from employees throughout the agency to ensure new training opportunities meet specific needs and interests of staff.

The training staff (pictured at left, from left to right) includes John Warren, director of training; Kristi Michaelis, staff trainer; Miranda Traylor, who provides training support in addition to her role as direct care recruiter; Stormy Cole, staff trainer; and Jean Wright, staff trainer.

As part of this effort, the training staff is evaluating documentation and records management, new employee orientation, and training needs in the areas of state licensing and COA requirements, risk management, MCH policies and procedures, management and supervisory skills, technology, and special interest training that addresses current issues or needs.

MCH staff will receive more information in the weeks ahead about new training opportunities. For information about training, please call a member of the training staff or stop by their offices located on the second floor of the Johnson Student Center.