Thursday, October 31, 2013

Core Value Award for Relationships – Abbie Garcia

Abbie Garcia received the Core Value Award for Relationships. Abbie is a case manager in the Lubbock Outreach office and works hard to build strong, trusting relationships with her foster parents, co-workers, birth parents and other agency representatives.  Abbie’s positive attitude and joyful spirit assist her in building and maintaining these relationships.

Dana Bearden, director of the Lubbock Outreach office, had this to say about Abbie, “Abbie is currently working with two young birth mothers. She continuously gives positive, honest and respectful feedback to these mothers, and they are motivated by her to make the necessary changes to improve their lives and the lives of their children.  She goes above and beyond to assist them in any way that she can.  Lubbock is very fortunate to have her on our team!”

Congratulations Abbie!

Friday, October 18, 2013

MCH Recreation Program Earns State Award

The MCH recreation department received Program of the Year for 2012 from the Texas Experiential Resources Association (TERA). Beth Harris, MCH recreation director for the Waco campus, said she believes MCH earned the award because of the variety and quality of activities offered to residents.

“We dabble in a lot of areas and we offer a wide range of activities to our youth,” Harris said. “We do regular evaluations with our residents to target their interests.”

Harris added that the recreation program at MCH is more than just providing activities.

“We work with our youth to achieve personal goals and we track their progress,” Harris said. “Our youth are doing all the work to accomplish their goals and we get to facilitate that growth. It’s neat to look back and see how much they’ve grown.”

The award is a commendation to all of the MCH recreation staff. Pictured below are recreation staff from the Waco campus and Boys Ranch with the TERA award.

To learn more about MCH’s recreation program, click here to read the article “Playing with Purpose” in our summer issue of Sunshine.

Pictured L to R: Ian Bracken, recreation coordinator; Anthony Mead, after-school program coordinator; Pablo Villanueva, recreation assistant; Kimberly Bobbitt, recreation coordinator; Nicole Ehler, Boys Ranch program services director; Beth Harris, Waco campus recreation director; and Robbie Matteson, recreation assistant. Geoff Nelson, recreation coordinator, is not pictured.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

MCH students take on technology

From left: Karen Cryer, Tristan, Dusty
Two Waco campus youth are getting valuable work experience in information technology this semester through student positions in the MCH technology department. Dusty and Tristan began their jobs in August when IT department staff members Michael Baxley and Karen Cryer contacted MCH’s student events coordinator to get part-time student support.

Dusty and Tristan help IT by formatting, cleaning off data and removing hard drives from old computers. They also accompany IT staff on service requests around campus.

“They are doing really well at this job,” Cryer said. “They both work fast and have a strong interest in computers and electronics.  There will be opportunities for Dusty and Tristan to get some real hands-on experience as the technology department takes on more projects."

Dusty said he had minimal computer experience when he started the job but is learning a lot and enjoys the job.

“It is laid back and they let us do our job and trust that we will get it done,” Dusty said.

Dusty and Tristan have been roommates at MCH for almost three years and said they work well together. Tristan came to the position with a basic knowledge of computers.

“It has been a good opportunity to learn,” he said. “I want to go to college for graphic design so this experience will help me.”  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo 2013

MCH had a strong performance in the 2013 Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo with 22 students from FFA showing animals and 14 students entering the Creative Arts contest. The fair was held at Extraco Events Center in Waco from October 3-12. Youth showing animals are students in the FFA program led by Steve Kruse through the Methodist Children’s Home School.

This was the first time many of the students showed animals at an event. Kruse said he was very proud of his students for their performance in the show.

“I am pleased with the results because the students all showed well,” he said. “Winning is nice, but it is the lessons our kids learn and the experiences they gain that are important.”


Lambs:  FWX - Mathew N.-9th; Southdown - Cassie-8th; Medium wool - Star-4th

 WOPB - Maleak-6th; BOPB - Diego-2nd;  DUROC - Michael D.-3rd, Jonah-5th, Tristan-6th, Enzo-9th;  HAMP - Stephen J.-6th, Dusty-8th, Michael R.-9th, Mykala-10th; also participating - Jordan P., James C.

  Eliza-12th, Patricia-13th, Thomas-16th

Chianina division - Dakota-6th, Lloyd-7th; Limousin division - Memo-10th; AOB - Brandon-12th

Creative Arts Entries:
Steven S: 3 photographs - 2 Honorable Mentions, 4th place
Noel: 2 photographs - 2 Honorable Mentions
Dustin: 2 photographs - 4th, 5th
Diego: 2 craft entries (birdhouse and Lego dragster) - 2nd, 3rd
Alfred: 1 baked good entry (fudge) - 1st
Jacob: 1 art entry (3D squares) - Honorable Mention
James R.: 1 baked good entry (nutella cookies) - 1st
Spencer: 1 craft entry (shield and sword metal) - 1st
Marvin: 1 craft entry (Duck Dynasty plaque) - 1st
Brandon: 6 photographs - 5th, 5 Honorable Mentions
Andrew: 2 photographs - 5th, Honorable Mention
Lloyd: 2 photographs - 1st, 3rd
Michael: 1 craft entry (Skittle painting) - 5th
Billy: 1 baked good entry (chocolate truffle) - 3rd

Kruse expressed his appreciation to staff stating, “I want to thank the caseworkers, home parents, administrators, employees and school personnel who came out and supported our young people. I want to give a special thanks to Pat Close for all his hard work and to the ladies in the Development Department who took pictures.”

Congratulations to all our FFA students and Creative Arts competitors!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Ranch Stampede 2013

Family members, Boys Ranch residents and staff came together during a special visit for Ranch Stampede 2013. During the gathering, families spent time with the youth and were able to join in on nurture groups and activities to better understand the principles of Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) and how it is utilized when working with youth.

“Our hope is that we provide a fun, interactive, and easy going environment for them to learn some new skills and techniques they can use in their relationships,” said Nicole Ehler, program coordinator at the Boys Ranch.  “When it boils down to it, we want to showcase our boys and enhance our connections with their families.  The afternoon is filled with smiles, fun, and many great memories for all.”

In each home unit, groups participated in nurture groups and reviewed TBRI rules and concepts. They also had an interactive and amusing trust or team building activity such as the target practice activity, a game where boys used straws and cotton swabs to hit a target on their peers’ head.  

After the groups, everyone was treated to dinner in the dining hall. Youth who participate in vocational agriculture were invited to give their families a tour of the facilities and show them their animals.

Around 42 family members attended the Ranch Stampede. Ehler said the families and parents loved the activities and had nothing but great things to say about the day.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Representatives from Rees-Jones Foundation visit Waco Campus

In the summer of 2012, the Rees-Jones Foundation awarded Methodist Children’s Home (MCH) a $100,000 grant to implement its Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) model of care initiative throughout the organization. Lyle Mason, MCH Director of Benefactor Relations, worked with other staff to submit the grant proposal.

“The grant we received from the Rees-Jones Foundation really expedited and enhanced MCH’s ability to implement TBRI agency-wide,” Mason said. “We needed to catapult the program and this funding was a conduit for helping us take it to the next level. We’re not done yet but the grant funding has been pivotal.”

Terese Stevenson and Adrian Cook, representatives from the Rees-Jones Foundation, visited MCH Wednesday to tour the Perkins Heritage Home and Waco Campus and to learn more about how the funds have been employed. The grant has allowed MCH to hire a TBRI direct care recruiter, create and purchase supplies for a sensory room in the MCH School, and provide a multitude of training opportunities for all MCH staff.

Pictured above
L to R first row: Jeff Creel, MCH associate administrator; Moe Dozier, MCH vice president for residential services; Terese Stevenson, Rees-Jones Foundation senior program officer; Adrian Cook, Rees-Jones Foundation research and evaluations associate; Erica Reyes-Rosas, MCH associate administrator.
L to R back row: Lyle Mason, MCH director of benefactor relations; Trey Oakley, MCH vice president for development; Tim Brown, MCH president and CEO.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Volcano Pageant

Methodist Children’s Home School had its first Volcano Pageant on October 3 as part of a two-week project in World Geography. The ninth grade students learned about volcanoes and built their own volcano models to erupt in front of a panel of judges.
During the two-week project, students watched videos of volcanic eruptions and learned about types of volcanoes. In Mrs. Deemer’s class, students researched and designed their models after specific volcanoes. Mr. Grisham’s students researched and explored composite volcanoes.

Results of the Volcano Pageant were:  Best In Show: Billy, Hawa, and Jennifer; Best Use Of Natural Resources:  Jorea, Destiny M., Sara, and Russell; Best Overall Appearance: Mikayla, Patrick, and Matthew D.;  Best Geographic Detail: Matthew N., Ja’Vianne, and Jayden; Best Information: Diego, Aaron W., and Jacob; Best Labels: Quentin, Emma, and Tarayia; Best Eruption: Mae, Juden, and Tamika; Best Team Work: Tomas, Stephen, and Raymond.

Mrs. Deemer and Mr. Grisham said student engagement levels increased throughout the project, which allowed students to learn to work together as a group and overcome problems. All of the students were able to show their creative side and ingenuity in finding and using natural resources outside the classroom to enhance the authenticity of their volcano.

“Seeing students absorbed in content or taking pride in their work is exciting for everyone: parents, unit staff, students, and especially for us, the teachers,” said Mrs. Deemer. “The Social Studies department will continue to develop and implement a hands-on/project-based approach to exploring World Geography.”

The class said they would like to thank all of the home units and school staff members who donated boxes and/or newspapers to help with this project.