Friday, September 27, 2013

MCH youth creates lifelong memories on first hunting trip

Aman with a European mount of his aoudad.
Standing proudly with his trophy, Aman holds a European mount of the aoudad he shot during a recent hunting trip to Mason, Texas, with Operation Orphans. A local taxidermist, Joe Avelos Taxidermy, donated the mount to the youth who got the largest animal of the season.

Methodist Children’s Home (MCH) youth attend the Operation Orphans and Tri-County Methodist Men hunting trips each year. These organizations have a long history with MCH. Operation Orphans started their ministry in 1960 and the Tri-County

Methodist Men began a partnership with MCH around 30 years ago by avid MCH supporter Thurman Head.

Aman has lived on the MCH Waco campus since 2010, but he said this trip was his first hunting experience.

“It was fun,” Aman said. “I took a hunting class before the trip, but I have never gone hunting. I was scared at first, but then I got used to it.”

Beth Harris, Waco campus recreation director, said in order for MCH youth to attend a hunting trip, they must complete the Texas Hunter Safety Course first.

“The students go through the course to learn safe and ethical ways to hunt before they go on a trip,” Harris said. “They learn responsibility and are able to create a connection with nature through these hunting trips.”

Harris added that the relationship-building aspect of the hunting trips is also an important factor.

“The youth build healthy relationships with their guides and hosts who give them one-on-one attention all day and really make the youth feel special,” Harris said.

Aman said his guide was experienced and had been on many hunting trips throughout the years, adding that his favorite part of the trip was the learning experience.

“I’ll probably go again this year,” Aman said. “The food was great too!”

Definitely a bonus to the trip, Aman said the meals prepared for the hunters were more than satisfying.

Paying it forward, the harvested game from each hunting trip is processed to provide food for families. Operation Orphans and the Tri-County Methodist Men donate the meat to local communities in need of food.

A memorable experience for Aman, he said his aoudad mount is hanging in the main office of his home unit.

“I’ll keep it to always remember this experience,” Aman said.

Click here to learn more about Operation Orphans.
Click here to link to our recent story about the Goldthwaite Hunt in Sunshine magazine.

Friday, September 20, 2013

One Act Play Class Practices Stage Makeup

Jade, One Act Play student and MCH resident.
MCH youth are learning the inner workings of the theater world and exploring their creativity through the new One Act Play after-school class. Kira Rockwell, the class instructor and current theater senior at Baylor University, leads the group of 14 youth as they learn the art of acting as well as the work done behind the scenes.

This week Rockwell’s students transformed into makeup artists, creating animal faces on themselves and their peers. Before the class, each youth received a photocopy of his or her face and drew different animal markings to prepare for the exercise. During class, they applied the makeup and made their vision come alive.

 The One Act Play class meets twice a week for two and a half hours where they learn different aspects of theater. Once they cover each phase of production, they will put together and perform plays. The group will also participate in competitions through Texas Christian Athletic League (TCAL). As part of their lessons, the class will soon get to take a field trip to visit the Baylor campus and attend its performance of “Legally Blonde” where they will be given a backstage tour.

Below are some photos of our artists and their masterpieces!

Click here to see more photos from the One Act Play makeup class on our Facebook page.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Students take dual credit courses

From left to right: Dominique, Wilmaneice, Sierra, McKenzi, Noel, Andrew, and MCHS coordinator Betty Morrow
Methodist Children’s Home has six youth from the Waco campus and Boys Ranch taking dual credit courses this fall.  These students all have a 3.0 GPA or higher, in addition to having passed the college readiness test in order to qualify.  Dual credit helps students get a jump start on their college education, possibly reducing the time it takes to earn a degree, typically earning one semester of college credits per year.

Students may enroll in academic courses that apply toward a bachelor’s degree or choose workforce courses for particular professions. Five of our youth - McKenzie, Dominique, Sierra, Noel and Wilmaneice - are enrolled at McLennan Community College. They attend class on the college campus.  The courses include Sociology, Government and Elementary Statistical Methods. 

Andrew is taking Algebra and Principals of Technology at Texas State Technical College while attending the new Greater Waco Manufacturing Academy half a day.  Upon completion of the program, he will earn a certificate in welding and also have a guaranteed job offer after high school.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Waco Outreach Thankful for School Uniform Vouchers

Waco Outreach is thankful for the Heart of Texas Area Agency on Aging's support of our grandparent families for the upcoming school year. Since 2011, the Heart of Texas Area Agency on Aging has provided vouchers for Grandparents As Parents Program (GAPP) participants to purchase school clothing for their grandchildren.

This year, over 20 GAPP families were presented with vouchers to buy new school uniforms for every grandchild in their household under the age of 18. Grandparents received a $100 gift voucher, per child, to purchase everything from uniform apparel, shoes, belts and other items. Over 40 grandchildren in the Waco area were served this year!

Voucher recipients were very grateful for the assistance and were pleased to have the opportunity to shop for back-to-school clothes without worrying about the cost. It is our hope that this collaborative effort in providing school clothing to deserving families will be a longstanding partnership for years to come.

Below are photos of three grandparents who received the school uniform vouchers for their grandchildren.

Thank you to Rehan McNeil, Waco Outreach GAPP Coordinator, who provided the story and photos.