Thursday, July 9, 2009

Something for Everyone

Summer is a busy time at Methodist Children's Home! There are too many great things going on to feature only one, so here are a few bits of news from across the MCH community.

Summer School is Better with Ice Cream
Summer School students at the MCH Charter School in Waco were treated to a demonstration in ice cream making. The instructional presentation by Douglas Brown, an MCH volunteer and member of the Waco community, was offered as a part of a communications and speech class. Throughout the class students have been able to hear a variety of presentations from individuals across the Waco community. On this occasion, students learned the basics of making homemade ice cream and even got to try the process for themselves.

Volunteer, Douglas Brown, demonstrates how to make ice cream with the help of some MCH Charter School students.

Beat the Heat with GAPP
Summer is heating up and the Grandparents as Parents Program is working hard to relieve some of the pressure on local grandparents trying to raise their grandchildren. GAPP has already developed a strong support community among grandparents in the Waco area, but this summer they are doing even more to offer assistance to families.

The Grandparents Day Camp is a new summer initiative for GAPP grandchildren. The grandchildren spend at least one day a week on the Waco campus or out in the community with GAPP staff and volunteers. The Day Camp allows the youth to learn new skills, experience the city of Waco and have fun beating the heat of summer. Activities so far have included trips to the Waco Water Park, lessons in basketball skills, knitting classes and even supervised time playing children's computer games.

Te'Aerra shows off a coloring page she is working on.

Arescia (left) is learning to knit with Kari, a GAPP volunteer.

Happy to Help
When Tom Stribling, an MCH foster parent, learned that Jerome, his long-time foster child, was interested in taking a summer job with the city of Happy, Texas, he was determined to help him reach his goal. The job Jerome wanted involved serving as an assistant to city workers and would provide him with hands on experience working 40 hours a week for most of the 2009 summer.

Funded by stimulus money directed through the US Department of Labor's Workforce Investment Act, the job was specifically designed for youth from disadvantaged backgrounds (such as foster children). Jerome, a "soon to be" high school senior, thought the job was the perfect fit. And because of his responsible nature and status as an MCH foster child, Jerome and the Striblings thought he would easily land his summer dream job.

However, when the city received Jerome's application they were confused about whether he really fit the description of a foster child. Eleven years ago, Jerome's family voluntarily placed him in foster care through Methodist Children's Home. Because of the voluntary placement, city officials assumed that Jerome did not qualify for the city job.

When the Stribling family heard that Jerome was not chosen for the position because of his unclear foster child status, they immediately made an effort to clear up the misunderstanding. Stribling went to the city judge and called Methodist Children's Home administrators to help fight for Jerome's dream. After several hours of patient waiting, explanations and many phone calls and faxes, the city of Happy gladly welcomed Jerome as a member of their summer staff.

Now that he has been working for several weeks, Jerome is loving his job. Repairing city streets, helping with pet vaccinations, mowing city property and repairing equipment are just some of the activities that fill his days.

Stribling couldn't be more proud. "You know, he wants to work," Stribling said. "He really enjoys working, this was his dream job and it wouldn't have been right to not help him achieve his dreams."

No comments: