Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Waco campus students win awards for 9/11 contest entries

Students at the Methodist Children's Home School, a University of Texas - University Charter School campus, created art pieces and wrote essays and poems commemorating the events that occurred on September 11, 2001. The students pictured below are the first place winners of the essay and art contests for their grade levels.

Pictured above from left to right: Vanessa, Emily, David, Kevin, and Brad. Vanessa and Emily won first place for their essays. David and Kevin won first place for their artwork and Brad won first place for his poetry entry.

This is a picture of David's winning drawing.

This is a picture of an art piece created by our second place winner, Kayla, for art.

The work the students created was inspiring and well-done. Deserving of their accomplishments, each first place winner received a $15 gift certificate to Wal-Mart and a “free Friday” meaning they can dress how they choose to for one Friday.

Congratulations ladies and gentlemen! You did a fabulous job!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Summer Fun Proves to Have Positive Impact on Children in Foster Care

With summer break at its end, MCH Outreach staff reflect on the full summer agendas of our foster children. The wide variety of events included: Vacation Bible School, visiting water parks, overnight family visits, having slumber parties with friends, Royal Family Kids Camp, Rockin' C Ranch Summer Camp, a local ISD theatre camp, and YMCA day camps. Many of our younger children enjoyed short trips within the state with their foster family and weekly activities and readings at the local library.

Cassandra, who is 10 years old, participated at the YMCA day camp the majority of the summer break as she has the last three years. As a camper at the YMCA, she visited the movie theatre three different times, the Skateplex three times, she went bowling on more than three occasions, swam twice a week at the YMCA's indoor pool, and she visited the zoo once along with other fun field trips. With over 35 kids between the ages of eight and twelve years old at the Tyler YMCA's day camp, Cassandra learned how to positively deal with peer conflict.

"Making friends the first day will make it better for the rest of the summer," she said.

Ms. Jefferies taught Cassandra how to talk problems out with her peers. Cassandra said she enjoyed the teachers who were easy to bond with at the Tyler YMCA.

The YMCA day camp had a positive impact on community involvement as well. Cassandra and her peers practiced singing and dancing for several weeks in order to perform for a local nursing home.

"The fun part was when we sang Christian songs and then gave the residents cards," Cassandra said. "They all wanted a hug too."

Foster parenting includes choosing activities that build character and make the children we serve feel included. It's our hope to continue networking with agencies and programs within our community such as the YMCA. MCH appreciates the involvement of our foster families and all the fun they have provided this summer.

Here's a picture of Cassandra and one of her friends from the YMCA day camp below.

Thanks to caseworker Jerushah Du Toit for this great story!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Summer in Crockett

This summer at MCH Crockett Youth Services was very busy. In fact, it seemed like the basketball never stopped bouncing! Youth played basketball Monday through Friday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. On Saturdays they played from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The youth played both for fun and competition.

This summer, youth attended three basketball tournaments in Houston. In Crockett, they played in tournaments against other area boys and girls from Westwood and Madisonville. They experienced a lot of success during their summer competition season.

Youth also participated in a leadership club which volunteered around the community. They served at local churches and an area health fair. Crockett Youth Services also offered students many educational opportunities this summer. Mrs. Debra Lamb, the principal at the alternative school, gave pointers on how to have a successful school year. Students also attended a tobacco-free class to learn more about the risks of smoking.

Way to go, Crockett Youth Services! Thanks for making summer great for the youth of Crockett, Texas! Here are some photos of the youth basketball team and their summer classes.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

MCH Employee Honored by Ysleta ISD

Jorge Soto, our El Paso office director was recently presented with a “Partner in Education” award from the Ysleta Independent School District. Soto was honored for his work facilitating group meetings with youth in the North Loop Elementary School and working with parents through parenting classes and special presentations. Methodist Children's Home also helps some families purchase school supplies and locate other helpful resources in their community.

Way to go, Jorge!