Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Mr. J.C. Alston visits Charter School

Mr. Donald Grisham is a social studies teacher at the University of Texas – University Charter School on the Waco campus.  His class has been studying the events of World War II.  Recently he invited Mr. J.C. Alston , a veteran of WWII and a survivor of Pearl Harbor, to speak to his class.

“We read about these events in our history books and see the images of war on video, but hearing the accounts from our surviving veterans is the best references to our history. We ask our veterans to speak to our students as a way of showing our respect and honor to their service to our country,” explains Mr. Grisham.

Mr. Alston is ninety years old and now lives in Troy, Texas.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bicycles delivered to MCH

On December 15, a group of gracious volunteers from First United Methodist Church of Grapevine spent their Saturday morning delivering 106 bicycles to the MCH campuses.  Each Christmas for the past 30 years, FUMC Grapevine has rallied its members and donated bicycles to the children and youth of MCH.
“Bike Day pretty much starts our Christmas season,” said Chuck Russell, campus administrator. ”When it’s Bike Day, we know Christmas is just around the corner.”

This year, the volunteers from FUMC Grapevine stopped off at the Waxahachie campus to personally deliver 28 bicycles. The rest of the bicycles were then delivered to the Waco campus to be distributed to the Boys Ranch, Waco campus and outreach offices. FUMC Grapevine also donated 72 helmets for our youth.

These bicycles will be enjoyed by our youth all year long. Each home unit will have their own bikes to go on group outings. Cameron Park is a popular Waco campus destination while the Boys Ranch has developed their own trails along the creek and up the hill. A few extra bicycles are given to the recreation department to be used for bike rides during the year and a club that meets during the summer.

“We are extremely thankful for the bike donation each year from FUMC Grapevine,” Russell said.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Turner home unit participates in Toys for Tots

The Turner home unit at the Boys Ranch showed their holiday spirit this season by joining together to give back to the community. 

After the residents turned in their own Christmas wish lists, unit manager Sue LeMay said the group decided they wanted to make a donation to Toys for Tots.  Each resident put in at least $5 of their own money to buy gifts for children. The whole unit participated and went shopping with homeparents Clinton and Mary Ann Stone to pick out toys to donate, wrap and deliver to Toys for Tots.

Way to go Turner!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Q&A - Ian, Boys Ranch

Methodist Children’s Home will have eight graduates this month from the University of Texas – University Charter School on the Waco campus.  These graduates are from the Waco campus and Boys Ranch.  The Waxahachie campus will have two graduates.

We caught up with Ian, a senior from the Boys Ranch, to find out more.

Q: How do you feel about graduating?
A: I am a little nervous but ready.  When I first arrived at the Ranch I really needed to get back on track with my schoolwork.  I have had a lot of support from the Ranch staff to get more motivated and now I will be graduating.

Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: I will move into the MCH Independent Living house and attend Texas State Technical College. I will study diesel mechanics and continue to work at a local automotive supply store. I am glad I still have support from MCH.

Q: What is one of your best memories from the Boys Ranch?
A: It was during my first summer here.  I was in a drum class that Mr. Dishman taught.  I had been playing drums for about seven years.  He was going to be out for a week and he gave me the opportunity to teach the class while he was out. I felt so responsible and trusted. I also had a blast being able to teach a peer to play drums.  He eventually played in the Praise Band with us.  I really did appreciate that opportunity. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

MCH competes in Holiday Classic

Several MCH students competed in the 4-H Holiday Classic in Belton, Texas, on November 10-11, 2012. Our group had a great show with two first place finishes and several students landing in the top five.
Below is a complete list of the results:

Steers (Exotic Division)
Lonnie - 1st place, Class 2
Lloyd - 3rd place, Class 2
Brandon - 5th place, Class 2
Jon - 4th place, Class 3

Heifer (Exotic Division)
Chelsey -  1st place

Jordan - 5th place, Duroc
Guillermo - 5th place, York
Kevin - 6th place, Cross
Bernardo - 7th place, Cross

Thomas - 8th place, Class 2
Kandaja - 11th place, Class 3
Amber - 13th place, Class 3
Patricia - 14th place, Class 4

Lambs (medium wool)
Mario - 11th place, Class 1

Congratulations to all our participating students!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

MCH students hold mock elections

Students attending the University of Texas Charter School on the Waco campus participated in mock elections on Monday, Nov. 5. Students had an opportunity to cast their votes during the lunch period.  When the final votes were counted for President, 37 students voted for President Obama and 29 for Mitt Romney. Political candidate campaign signs were placed along the school’s sidewalk leading to the cafeteria, which served as the location for the mock voting booth.  The event was coordinated and sponsored by the following teachers and facilitators: Don Grisham, Brenda Deemer, Todd Nafe, Carl Ritter, Marjorie Williams, and Cori Levi.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Foster Family Day – Tyler Outreach Office

Foster families from the Tyler Outreach Office were treated to a Foster Family Day on October 20, 2012. Jeff and Connie Pinkerton hosted the event at WeHope Ranch.
“The day was fun for all ages and many special memories were made. The children enjoyed bounce houses, fun games with cool prizes and craft projects. The foster parents enjoyed the opportunity to socialize with one another and trade tips, tricks and stories. The wonderful food was enjoyed by all. The evening was topped off with smores around the campfire. It was a special day and a good time was had by all,” said Toni Boston, Director of the Tyler Outreach Office.  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Family Day

Team 2 on the Waco Campus held its fall Family Day on October 21. According to Chuck Russell, campus administrator, the event was a great success with a total of 64 family members in attendance.

MCH hosted an open house and workshop where parents and families learned more about MCH’s programs and services, including TBRI techniques. Families also participated in several nurture group activities, such as giving each other band aids (giving and receiving nurture), feeding each other (giving and receiving care), making Thanksgiving placemats (which teaches the Life Skills of Listen and Learn, Build Trusting Relationships, and Show Respect) among others.

“We also provided supper for our families and this year I delivered 71 pizzas,” Chuck said.  “Boy, was my car hot! But it was good times for all of our families.  We have received many compliments from family members stating how much they enjoyed their time at MCH. We are looking forward to our spring Family Day.”

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Heart of Texas Fair & Rodeo – More Competition Results

Methodist Children’s Home won first place in sweepstakes for their Agricultural Mechanics projects, beating out eleven other schools in the competition. Many MCH youth also received ribbons for showing swine and lamb during the livestock show at the Heart of Texas Fair & Rodeo last week.

The MCH youth submitted 20 total projects into the Ag mechanics competition and came out with several first place awards. Below is a listing of the final results:

1st place Grand Division:  Ian, Cedric and Dakota - Deer feeder class (blue quality); Ian - Shop light class (blue)
1st place Reserve Division: Jimmy, Cedric and Dakota - Bunk feeder class (blue)
1st place Reserve Champion: Andrew - barbeque class (red)
1st place:  Ian, Molech and Fransico - Hay trailer class (red); Ian - Furrowing crate class (red); Ian - Hay fork class (red)
2nd place: Shop class - Gate class (red); Shop class - Goat hauler class (red)
3rd place: Shop class - Fire pit class (red); Molech - 5x8 trailer class (white)
Additional entries: Blue quality – Shop table class (Shop class), Cedar swing class (Mathew, Jimmy), Picnic table class (Shop class), Cutting board class (Kandaja), Box class (Jimmy); Red quality – Swing (Shop class); White quality – Crab boil class (Shop class), Horn barbeque class (Shop class)

The following are the results from the swine and lamb categories: Swine – Guillermo, 4th place, York Class 2; Steven, 5th place, Duroc Division Class 2; Kevin, 5th place, Cross Class 4; Michael, 5th place, Cross Class 3; Bernardo, 5th place, Cross Class 1; James, 6th place, Cross Class 1; and Jordan, 4th place, Hampshire Class 1; Lamb – Mario, Southdown, Medium Wool; and Kandaja, Finewool Cross.

Three MCH students also placed in free contests: Guillermo, 1st place, Glue a Shoe Contest; Brandon, 2nd place, Pumpkin Carving; Lloyd, 1st place, Pumpkin Carving; Diego, 1st place, Best of Tex Mex Contest.

Click here to view more photos from the Heart of Texas Fair & Rodeo. Congratulations to all our MCH participants for this impressive showing!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Heart of Texas Fair & Rodeo – Creative Arts Awards

MCH youth showcased their talents last week at the Heart of Texas Fair & Rodeo and received several awards in the Creative Arts competition. Our students brought home a multitude of ribbons for their submissions into several categories including photography, artwork, baked goods and needlework.

Congratulations to the following awarded students: NEEDLEWORK - Lloyd, 1st place, crocheted scarf; PHOTOGRAPHY - Dalton, honorable mention, sunrise; Brandon, 3rd place and honorable mention, flowers; Mike, 1st place and 5th place, rocks, sunflower; Jon, 3rd place, clouds/sunset, bird with eggs; Devin, 1st place and 4th place, bird nest with eggs, architectural design; Jericho, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place, bird/fish, swan, landscape; BAKED GOODS - Jayden, 2nd place, chocolate chip cookies; Damion, 4th place, white chocolate chip cookies; Mario, 2nd place, chocolate brownie cookies; ARTWORKDavid, 1st place and 2nd place, mixed media, colored pencil; Noel, honorable mention, clouds/sunset/birds; Dustin, honorable mention, lizard; Ian, 1st place and 4th place; Thomas the Train, horse; Michael, 4th place and honorable mention, sunset, duck; staff member Sue LeMay, 3rd place and 4th place, Colorado trees and train.

We are proud of all our participating students for their hard work!

Heart of Texas Livestock Show - Steer Competition

MCH youth made a strong showing in the steer competition to open the 2012 Heart of Texas Livestock Show Saturday. Seven students in MCH's FFA program showed eight calves. "This was a new experience for the students and the cattle," said Steve Kruse, Ag Science teacher at the University of Texas-University Charter School. "None of the students had shown a calf before. I feel like we all learned a lot and had a successful outing."

We want to congratulate the following students who participated in the steer competition: Lloyd, 3rd place, Simmental Division; Dalton, 4th place, AOB Division; Lonnie, 9th place, Limousin Division; Brandon, 11th place, Chianina Division; Jon, 12th place, Chianina Division; Dalton, 9th place, Charloasis Division; Chelsey, 2nd place, Beef Heifer AOB Division; and Amber, Beef Heifer AOB Division.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Core Value Hope Award Goes to Belinda Gutierrez

Methodist Children’s Home recognizes staff members who have demonstrated our core values in their work with youth and families. The following is an excerpt from the nomination of Belinda Gutierrez for the Hope core value award. Belinda is a youth care counselor on the Waxahachie campus.

 “As a staff advocate, Belinda faithfully meets with the youth she works with and gives praise and encouragement at the smallest signs of improvement while still holding them accountable. Belinda consistently comes to work with a smile on her face and expressions of hope on her lips. She has been willing to listen to our youth’s ideas about how to serve the Waxahachie community. Her ability to facilitate and follow through with their ideas encourages personal hope in our youth.”

Belinda had this to share about receiving the core value award: “I want the boys I work with to know they can succeed after mistakes. Making a mistake is not the end of it, there is hope. It was an honor to receive this award.”

Monday, July 2, 2012

Core Value Growth Award Goes to Laura Bonner

Methodist Children’s Home recognizes staff who have demonstrated our core values in their work with our youth and families. The following is an excerpt from the nomination of Laura Bonner for the Growth core value award. Laura is the unit manager for the Price home unit on the Waco campus.

“Laura consistently provides individual and group opportunities for the youth she serves in terms of emotional, physical and intellectual development. Laura ensures that youth in the Price home have individual opportunities that afford them joy and purpose in their lives. Her caring and nurturing nature promotes trust based relationships with youth and their families. In her quiet, calm manner, Laura holds her staff and herself to high expectations. Laura truly embraces our program and has a deep understanding and knowledge of our mission.”

Laura shared the following about receiving this award:

“I am thankful for the wonderful opportunities MCH has provided that have led me to where I am today. I am truly blessed.”

Friday, June 8, 2012

Core Value Relationships Award goes to Ross Purdy

Methodist Children’s Home recognizes staff who have demonstrated our core values in their work with our youth and families. The following is an excerpt from the nomination of Ross Purdy for the Relationships core value award. Ross was servings as recreation coordinator for the Boys Ranch when he received the award. He recently joined the Development Department as a Benefactor Relations Officer.

Building healthy relationships through communication, respect, trust and love is exemplified through the personality and work ethic of Ross. The following are comments shared by staff about Ross.

“Ross makes the boys his number one priority every day. He has a kind personality which draws people to him and allows him to build a unique and special relationship with everyone he meets. Ross has energy and enthusiasm for life. He leads our youth in the right direction with a positive attitude. He can have fun with the boys while still holding them accountable for their actions. He is an excellent role model. It is valuable for these boys to see a single man with integrity, gentleness, playfulness, firmness and Christian values.”

Ross shared the following about receiving this award:

“To be recognized by my peers with such an award is humbling, and what an honor to represent the Boys Ranch. I want to thank the Boys Ranch youth care counselors, homeparents, and administration for allowing me to work with them in serving the young men at the Boys Ranch.”

Friday, June 1, 2012

Congratulations 2012 Graduates!

On Friday, May 25, 2012, MCH held graduation for its University of Texas University Charter School students from the Waco and Boys Ranch campuses. The celebration took place at First United Methodist Church of Waco and brought in friends and family of our youth from across the state. Thirty-four of our residents graduated this spring.

We are proud of our youth and all their accomplishments! Congratulations class of 2012!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Albaugh Scholarship Awarded to Five Alumni

Methodist Children’s Home has awarded its prestigious Ralph Buchanan Albaugh Scholarship to five alumni for the 2012-2013 academic year. The recipients are: Essence Stowe, sophomore at Texas A&M University, business major; Simona Tilahun, sophomore at University of Texas at Arlington, biology major; Ally Fry, sophomore at Baylor University, fine arts major; Amber Creason, senior at Texas A&M University, English major; and Josh Sheppard, sophomore at University of Texas at Arlington, education major.

Congratulations to these alumni for another successful year in college!

Clockwise from top: Josh Sheppard, Simona Tilahun, Essence Stowe, and Ally Fry. Amber Creason is not pictured.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Core Value Responsibility Award Goes to Amy Grisham

Methodist Children’s Home recognizes staff who have demonstrated our core values in their work with our youth and families. The following is an excerpt from the nomination of Amy Grisham for the Responsibility core value award. Amy is the school support coordinator on the Waco campus.

“Amy demonstrates responsibility in many different ways. She holds herself to high standards and expects greatness and responsible work ethics from the staff she supervises in the school setting. Amy is tenacious in her role of seeing that youth are treated fairly. Amy is facilitating our Safe Ambassadors Program in an effort to prevent bullying behaviors and promote felt safety for our youth. Amy demonstrates a caring, straightforward style that serves her well in her position. Amy is an excellent liaison between the school, Boys Ranch and Waco campus staff.”

Amy shared the following about receiving this award:

“It is always nice to be recognized for our work. It is a blessing to be able to be a part of such a wonderful ministry.”

Friday, May 11, 2012

MCH Students Attend Yes! Expo

The Transition Services (TS) program , located on the Waco campus, works with our graduating seniors to help them prepare for their transition into college and the workforce. This past week, the TS staff planned a trip for our seniors from the Waco campus and Boys Ranch to the 5th Annual Yes! Expo held at the Extraco Events Center.

The Yes! Expo is put together by the Workforce Solutions for the Heart of Texas. It provides youth an opportunity to interact with employers of local industries and representatives of local colleges.

Here are some photos of our seniors at the event.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Core Value Christian Principles Award goes to Rebecca James

Methodist Children’s Home recognizes staff who have demonstrated our core values in their work with our youth and families. The following is an excerpt from the nomination of Rebecca James for the Christian Principles core value award. Rebecca is a caseworker in the Albuquerque outreach office.

“This core value is described as the ‘foundation of our ministry.’ As a caseworker, Rebecca exemplifies this value in the truest sense. Her determination to be mindful of the great calling that has been placed on her life and to carry it well and with diligence is obvious in all that she does, both in the office with her co-workers and in the community with her clients. The greatest example of this can be seen in her work with single mothers that are victims of extreme homelessness. Rebecca truly reaches out to ‘the least of these.’ She does not shy away from a mountain of problems and what is seemingly impossible. She is excellent at helping families determine what they need and how to get there. She gets right in the trenches with them and helps them figure it out.”

Rebecca shared the following about receiving the Christian Principles core value award:

“I am truly blessed to be a part of the Methodist Children’s Home. It is a true answer to prayer. As for the award, well praise God. I pray that he continues to use me.”

“ For He will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help.”
PSALM 72:12

Friday, April 27, 2012

Prom 2012

This past Saturday, April 21, Methodist Children’s Home high school seniors and their guests experienced prom night on the Waco campus. Youth from the Waco and Waxahachie campuses and the Boys Ranch attended the annual event. This year’s theme was “Around the World”.

Thank you to the many staff who helped plan and organize this event! There was great food, music and fun for everyone.

Enjoy the photos below from MCH’s 2012 Prom!

Friday, April 20, 2012

MCH youth start Girl Scouts troop

The Methodist Children’s Home recreation department on the Waco campus recently started a Girls Scout Troop. Ten young ladies are participating in weekly activities to earn badges and enjoy fellowship. Beth Harris, recreation coordinator, says Girl Scouts provides an opportunity to try new things and empowers young girls to develop self-confidence and earn recognition for their accomplishments. MCH youth have earned an Eating for Beauty badge and Animal Helper badge. They are currently working on their Drawing badge.

Pictured from left to right are: (front) Alexis, Areakesia and Dianne, and (back) Miranda, Ka Shena (volunteer) and Nariko.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

REcreation Weekend 2012

The Religious Education and Recreation departments recently worked together to host the “REcreation Weekend” on the Waco campus. This is a three-day event that focuses on worship and recreational activities for the Waco campus and Boys Ranch youth. Ross Reynolds, youth minister at FUMC Rowlett, was the guest preacher, and Bus Seven was the guest band. Colin Campbell, music director at MCH, is a member of the band.

The theme this year was “truth.” The Religious Education staff invited former MCH youth Josh Shepard, Edden Agonafer, Alice Fry and Matt Wills to speak about how “truth” has played out in their lives since leaving MCH. While residents at MCH, they participated in the Perkins Youth School of Theology program at Southern Methodist University. All four are in college and talked about issues they have faced and the truth they have learned about themselves.

From left to right: Josh Shepard, Edden Agonafer, Alice Fry and Matthew Wills.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Homecoming 2012

Methodist Children’s Home is looking forward to welcoming our alumni as they return to the Waco campus for Homecoming this weekend. Alumni will enjoy planned events and fellowship Friday through Sunday. Among the highlights will be dedication of Heritage Park on the Waco campus and the recognition of former homeparents, Richard and Diane Johnson, who will receive the Distinguished Staff Award from the Alumni Association.

Happy Homecoming and Easter weekend!

Here are some photos from last year’s event.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Waco Campus Family Day

The Methodist Children’s Home Waco campus invited the families of our youth in residential care to participate in Trust-Based Relationship Intervention (TBRI) training with our staff, as well as spend time with their loved ones, play games and eat lunch as a family.

Our campuses like to host events such as this so the families of our youth have a chance to visit with them while learning more about our program of care.

Enjoy the photos of the events below!