Wednesday, December 31, 2014

MCH Family Outreach Christmas 2014

MCH Family Outreach offices celebrated the Christmas season with families they serve during special parties organized by their office. Staff enjoyed surprising the children with visits from Santa, gifts under the tree as well as games and crafts. Below is how a few of our offices celebrated:

“The Corpus Christi Outreach office hosted their Christmas party for foster families on Dec. 4 at a local restaurant. Foster families and staff were able to enjoy fellowship and celebrate over a nice meal. The Corpus Christi office joined forces with Area Agency on Aging on Dec. 9 to celebrate Christmas with grandparents raising grandchildren. Some of the attendees were former and current GAPP parents of MCH. The celebration took place during the regularly scheduled support group time at a local senior citizen center. Grandparents sang Christmas carols to senior citizens at the center as well as participated in a game of ‘white elephant.’  Grandparents enjoy this support group as they can speak with others who may be struggling with the same issues and learn from each other how to obtain some support.” – Marisol Gomez, Corpus Christi Outreach director

“The Houston Outreach office had our annual Christmas Party again this year at Deer Park United Methodist Church. The church members provided gifts for foster children as well as biological children of the foster parents. Deer Park UMC also provided gifts for children in the other MCH programs (GAPP and Family Solutions). The church provided food and drinks for the party as well as Santa Claus. MCH staff and foster parents enjoyed entertainment by several MCH children. We also enjoyed Christmas music and great fellowship with each other.” - Veronica Whalon-Peters, Houston Outreach director

“The outreach office in Lufkin hosted their Foster Home Christmas Party on Dec. 13. Foster parents and staffed enjoyed lunch together, and Mrs. Amanda Jeffcoat, foster parent, said she ‘enjoyed being together with everyone and it felt like a family gathering.’ The children danced to Christmas music and played hide-and-seek while the foster parents finished desserts and enjoyed fellowship with each other. After presents, the children, foster parents, and staff attended The Nutcracker- Mejia Ballet International hosted by the Angelina Arts Alliance. All of the children were in awe of the amazing performance, and it was a delightful experience for everyone.”  – Amanda Grimmett, Lufkin Outreach director

San Antonio:
“The San Antonio Outreach office celebrated their annual Foster Family Christmas Party on Dec. 6 at University United Methodist Church. The families enjoyed refreshments from Jason’s Deli and fellowship with each other. The children relished in activities such as face painting, cookie decorating, a coloring station, and Pin the Nose on Olaf game. There were opportunities for silly pictures with the centerpiece props and candy cane crafts. Santa came and joined the festivities and gave his gifts to the children. Overall, we had a good turnout of friends old and new. We feel so blessed to have such wonderful families share in the mission and vision of MCH.” – Jessica Butters, San Antonio Outreach director. 

“On Saturday, Dec. 13, the Missions Team of Marvin UMC hosted the annual Christmas Party for the foster children of the Tyler outreach office.  More than 150 people including foster children, foster families, MCH staff, and volunteers attended the event. There were many activities and crafts available for the children to enjoy; from bounce houses and face painting to making thumbprint snowflake ornaments, there was never a dull moment. The children also got to sit on Santa’s knee and tell him what they wanted for Christmas. The highlight of the party was when each child opened up their gifts that was given to them by the members and volunteers of the Missions Team. Not only did the Missions Team bless the foster children this year, they also made a donation to the children in our Family Solutions program. Words cannot express how truly grateful and moved the Tyler Outreach staff is by the kindness and generosity that the Missions Team at Marvin UMC shows toward the children that we serve.”   – LaTasha Hickman, Tyler Outreach director

“On Saturday, Dec. 16 we hosted all of our families who are impacted by outreach programs in Waco. Foster parents, grandparents, parents, staff, volunteers and children gathered around the tree. This year we were blessed by Baylor Electronic Marketing department who helped create a wonderful celebration. As a team they planned a variety of crafts, prepared delicious snack foods, had story book time and topped off the day with a visit from Santa! All of our families were incredibly blessed by the thoughtfulness in the gifts as well as the time to fellowship. Children and parents alike laughed, created fun crafts and decorated cookies. Our Christmas party was a beautiful celebration of community, coming together to anticipate the coming of our Savior. The Waco Outreach sends our warmest gratitude to Baylor Electronic Marketing Department and all of our families who helped make this day truly special! It is our honor and privilege to walk alongside and celebrate life with you all!” – Brooke Davilla, Waco Outreach director

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Spanish class visits Hewitt Elementary

Methodist Children’s Home School (MCHS) students visited classrooms of Hewitt Elementary to share Christmas stories from Spanish books. The students were from Ms. Rojas’ Spanish 1 and 2 classes.

On Dec. 16 and 17, the MCHS students read to children in pre-K through second grade from the classrooms of Ms. Faith Foster (pre-K), Ms. Jessica Lopez (Kindergarten), Mr. Frederick Herrera (first grade) and Ms. Irene Martinez (second grade). Ms. Foster’s class created an alphabet book in English that they also shared with their visitors. MCHS student Beyonce accompanied her book, La Pinata, by singing “Feliz Navidad” to the class. 

As part of the project, MCHS provided the four classes with a set of English books from Scholastic for their classroom libraries.

“The purpose of this partnership was for our students to practice reading in Spanish through Christmas themed books,” Ms. Rojas said. “The partnership was beneficial for both groups because the Pre-K students were also able to practice speaking English through their alphabet books.”

The schools plan to carry on the partnership through next semester. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Christmas Carol

MCH theater students gave a special Christmas treat this year with a production of “A Christmas Carol.” The famous Christmas story by Charles Dickens was performed on Dec. 11 at the Harrell Memorial Chapel on the Waco campus.
The theater students are led by instructor Kira Rockwell, a Baylor BFA graduate in theater performance. The class spent two days in October doing auditions for the play. On the first day, Rockwell met with students interested in the technical aspects of theater such as light, sound, costume, makeup, and set design. The following day, auditions for acting roles were held where students performed scenes from the play in groups of two or three. Below is the final cast and production crew:

Narrator and Belle – Beth
Scrooge – Ben
Mr. Cratchit – Josh
Fred and Young Ebenezer – Trey
Mr. Jeeves, Peter Cratchit, and Broker 2 – Alfred
Tiny Tim, Ignorance and Boy – Chris
Marley’s Ghost, Fan, and Mrs. Dibler – Kimberly Bobbitt (Recreation Coordinator) filled in for Mae who was out sick
Spirit of Christmas Past, Janet, and Mrs. Oliver – Jade
Spirit of Christmas Present – Apryl
Mrs. Cratchit, Want, and Broker 1 – Grace
Martha Cratchit – Jessica
Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come – Aaron
Light and Sound Designer – Natasha
Costume and Make-up Designer – Jade
Set Designer and Lead Stagehand – Aaron

“The students did incredible,” Rockwell said. “Every student on that stage challenged themselves and grew exponentially since day one of class. They had fun, they were creative, they were brave, and they were confident enough in themselves to perform in front of their peers and finish the show. Most importantly what I am most pleased with is the fact that they completed the production feeling so proud and accomplished.”

In Rockwell’s after-school theater class, she said the students began the semester by focusing on cultivating a “team spirit” within the group and established warmups that they do in every class. Throughout the semester, they learned the basics of theater and the actor’s process as well as attended a production at Baylor, “Into the Woods.” Rockwell said the students also read plays with different styles of acting such as Greek, Shakespearean, Improv and contemporary drama.

“My desire for these students is that in this class they would not only learn about theatre and play a few acting games, but they would leave as confident, educated young theatre artists who are knowledgeable of the styles, techniques and the disciplines it takes to do theatre outside of Methodist Children's Home,” Rockwell said. “Of course we have our fun and play those acting games, but I truly feel this group allows students to discover something they've never tried or never thought they could do and realize they actually can and that they're pretty great at it, too.” 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Core Value Award for Responsibility - Taneequa Newton

Methodist Children’s Home recognizes staff annually who exemplify our core awards. Staff members are nominated by their peers and recognized at an all-staff meeting.

The Core Values of MCH are:
Christian Principles

Taneequa Newton, director of transition services, received the 2014 Core Award for Responsibility. The recipient of the Core Award for Responsibility is defined as someone who is accountable for self and others.

Newton has worked at MCH fort 16 years, first as a youth care counselor (YCC) and then a YCC supervisor while attending college for social work. She was the unit manager of the Williams home unit before becoming director of transition services.

According to Newton’s nomination, “She has always been kind and caring and has excellent Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) skills. Over the years, she has always been professional and continues to strive to find ways to best meet the needs of the youth in her care. She takes great pride in her work and in working with families to improve their relationships with their children. Taneequa is an active member of the Spirit Committee and can often be seen at sporting events cheering on her youth. In August, Taneequa was promoted to director of Transition Services. In her new role, she has quickly become attuned to the needs of our young adults and is intentional about helping them to succeed. Taneequa is respected for her sense of urgency, responsibility and dedication to MCH.”

“I truly thank MCH for honoring me with the Core Value Award for Responsibility,” said Newton. “Working in many different capacities has given me the opportunity to serve our youth and be a voice for them in their time of need and t that is a responsibility that I take very seriously. It is a blessing to be able to work for an agency that provides a nurturing environment for our youth and gives them hope for the future.”

Jeff Creel, associate administrator and Newton’s supervisor, had this to share: “I enjoy working with Taneequa and she had exhibited tremendous growth over her time at MCH. It is obvious that she genuinely cares about all of the young adults we serve through MCH. Taneequa is very nurturing and also empowers the young adults to work toward their full potential. She understands TBRI and the importance of meeting the young adults where they are ‘walking with them’ as they go through transitions in life. We are blessed to have her at MCH.”

Monday, December 15, 2014

Ranch Showmanship 2014

A large crowd of MCH staff and youth gathered at the Boys Ranch pavilion on Tuesday, Dec. 9 for the first-ever Ranch Showmanship event. Students from the FFA program showed their animals and were judged on their presentation as well as the appearance of the animal. 

The event was an opportunity for the 35 ag students to gain experience outside of local livestock shows in presenting their animals before a judge. MCH welcomed John Kuretsch as its guest judge.

“I wanted the kids to get an opportunity to show again and for the rest of the students not in ag to see what it is about,” said Steve Kruse, ag teacher.

Kruse leads the students in class as they learn to properly care for their animals, prepare them for showing and practice showmanship. The ag program teaches youth responsibility while also helping them to build self-confidence.

Steers, lambs, goats and swine in several categories were showed by the youth. The winners were:

Steers – Star
Lamb – Iyahnna
Goat – Tameka
Swine – Prince

Congratulations to all our student participants!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tutoring with Baylor students

Thanks to the benevolence of some Baylor University students, several MCH youth are getting a better understanding in their most challenging subjects. During the fall semester, 12 students from Baylor’s Medical Service Organization volunteered to tutor students in the Methodist Children’s Home School.

The tutors meet with students in seventh to tenth grade for an hour and a half once a week. The students are looking for help in the subjects of reading and math. Not only has this partnership been successful academically, but also provided the students with a person to look up to.

“The tutors give our students some positive role models that are not much older than them,” said Michelle Arocha, assistant principal at Methodist Children’s Home School. “They can see success in someone just 3-5 years older.”

Arocha said several MCH students had the option of receiving tutoring during the day but chose to receive tutoring after school with the Baylor students instead. She said they felt like they learned more in the smaller student ratio and enjoyed learning from a young person.

Baylor student Bunnarack Kuch, from Quinlan, Texas, learned about MCH when he volunteered over the summer. He was interested in returning and helped initiate the service project for Medical Service Organization students to volunteer as tutors throughout the fall. 

“I really enjoyed tutoring at MCH,” said Kuch, a premed junior at Baylor majoring in biochemistry. “Everything was well organized and the staff really made sure we had everything we needed. The students were wonderful as well!”

The partnership between Baylor tutors and MCHS students will continue next semester.

“I am excited about continuing to work with the Baylor volunteers and feel that the students really benefit from the project,” Arocha said.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Core Value Award for Service - Tyrone Robinson

Methodist Children’s Home annually recognizes staff who exemplifies one of our core values.  Staff members are nominated by their peers and are recognized at an all-staff meeting during which the awards are given.

The Core Values for MCH are:
Christian Principles

Tyrone Robinson, youth care counselor at the Boys Ranch, received the Core Award for Service. The recipient for the Core Award for Service is defined as someone who shows compassion through generosity and care.

According to Robinson’s nomination, “Tyrone brings a keen eye to his surroundings and the people in it, an ability to build relationships with staff and youth, and the drive to make a difference. Tyrone is passionate about working with youth and helping them to become successful and make good choices. Throughout his daily interactions, Tyrone role models hard work, dependability, strong morals, positive choices, logic, and patience for our youth. Tyrone is always there when you need him, whether it is for a transportation run, step trip, overnight coverage, or to help with a difficult situation. This willingness to be flexible to meet the needs of our youth makes a huge difference daily to both staff and youth. Tyrone is proactive in his approach to work with our youth and strives to de-escalate people and situations well before they become problematic. The boys and staff at the Ranch have great respect for Tyrone. He has high expectations for our youth and holds the boys accountable for their actions while also building playful and engaging relationships through sports, dominoes, and other activities.

Robinson has worked for MCH for four years. “When I am able to help youth accomplish their goals, I feel like I am truly giving something back to society,” he said. “This is why I love my job.”

Ian Bracken, recreation supervisor, and Robinson’s supervisor, had this to share: “Tyrone is great to work with. I appreciate his passion and drive to make a difference in youth’s lives, I could not ask for a better staff member.”

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Ranch Family Day 2014

Boys Ranch welcomed families of youth on Nov. 25 to kick off a Thanksgiving week of fellowship. For this year’s Family Day, visitors gathered in the dining hall for the come-and-go event.

Families were treated to a dinner and snacks prepared by the dining hall staff. Ranch child care staff also provided families with goody bags filled with items promoting Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) techniques such as stress balls, pencil toppers, water, snacks and gum. TBRI is a method of care developed by Texas Christian University’s Institute of Child Development focused on helping children who have experienced relationship-based trauma to heal. Also included in the bags was a list of MCH’s 10 life skills that are taught to MCH youth during their stay. 

These life skills are:
1. Use good words to communicate
2. Be gentle and kind
3. Show respect
4. Listen and learn
5. Understand who is in charge
6. Accept decisions of authority
7. Make good choices
8. Focus and finish your work
9. Negotiate and compromise
10. Build trusting relationships

Ranch youth Charles, Chris and Jaden worked with homeparent Glinda Thorp to prepare a puppet show for the crowd to demonstrate several of these life skills and an example of a “redo.”  A “redo” is a conflict resolution technique that allows individuals to start over after having a disagreement.

“The kids worked hard on their show,” said Laura Bonner, Boys Ranch administrator. “They did a great job!”


Monday, November 24, 2014

Core Value Award for Relationships - Michelle Gunter

Methodist Children’s Home recognizes staff annually who exemplify our core values. Staff members are nominated by their peers and recognized at an all-staff meeting.

The Core Values of MCH are:
Christian Principles

Michelle Gunter, case manager in the Corpus Christi outreach office, received the Core Award for Relationships. The recipient of the Core Award for Relationships is defined as someone who builds healthy relationships through communication, respect, trust and love.

 According to Gunter’s nomination, “Michelle has a positive attitude that creates an energetic work environment. She works well with everyone and is willing to assist in any way. Michelle is an invaluable asset to MCH and the families she works with through the Family Solutions program. Michelle has the ability to help our families develop healthy relationships, and they develop a sense of trust and love as they work with Michelle. Due to her ability to connect with families, they know they can contact her in times of need as well as in times of celebration. Michelle clearly displays a gift for connecting in a positive way with people, including agencies and people of influence throughout the community. Michelle works with several community agencies and has established great working relationships to assist the families we serve. These agencies welcome us with open arms and see us as a vital resource for the community. Michelle is always positive and proactive as she helps instill hope and happiness in the life of struggling families.”

Gunter has worked for MCH for two years. “Receiving the Core Value Award for Relationships is truly amazing,” Gunter said. “I appreciate the recognition and the acknowledgement of the time I have worked for MCH. Being nominated and chosen is truly a blessing. Hearing the letter my director wrote about my work ethic is appreciated. I was a little emotional and wanted to cry, but I held it all in. I have never received an award like this and I will continue to practice the Core Value of Relationships with families I work with as well as the community.”

Marisol Gomez, director of the Corpus Christie Outreach office, and Gunter’s supervisor, had this to share: “I have enjoyed working with Michelle. She is a true advocate for her families and when promoting MCH services. I enjoy the energy she brings to the office and how she is always willing to help.”

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Field trip to Medieval Times

Methodist Children’s Home School students got a close-up look at the Middle Ages through a recent field trip to Medieval Times in Dallas. As part of their studies on the time period, 24 freshmen and sophomores traveled to the venue on Nov. 7 to learn more about feudal society. The students were part of Mr. Preston Powell’s World History class.

Medieval Times is an attraction in Dallas that provides an interactive educational experience featuring a meal and show depicting a “games of skill” tournament. Spectators dine on a medieval-style feast and learn about knighthood and chivalry as actors playing knights show their horsemanship skills and compete in a jousting tournament.

Mr. Powell said he wanted to take his students on the trip after receiving several questions during his classroom discussion on events of the medieval tournaments. He said while he was answering their questions, he kept thinking about his previous experience at Medieval Times. After learning that only one of his students had been to the venue, he became interested in taking the whole class for an afternoon trip.

“The main thing I wanted them to take away from the trip was the experience of what a medieval tournament would have been like,” Powell said. “They were able to see that there would have been contests on horseback as well as jousting and sword fighting. They were able to see the attire and customs of the Middle Ages. This type of firsthand experience really helps students to understand what life and customs were for people of the Middle Ages.”

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Core Value Award for Growth - Kim Dooley

Each year Methodist Children’s Home recognizes staff members who exemplify the Core Values of the organization. Staff are nominated by their peer and are recognized at an all-staff meeting during which the Core Awards are given.

The Core Values for MCH are:
Christian Principles

Kim Dooley, case manager in the Albuquerque Outreach office, received the Core Award for Growth. The recipient of the Core Award for Growth is defined as someone who provides opportunities for spiritual, emotional, physical and intellectual development.

According to Dooley’s nomination, “Kim has embraced the duties of her job with enthusiasm and an eagerness to learn. During her first year, we increased our staff and moved to a larger office, and Kim was supportive and helpful throughout the process. Once we got settled into our new office, Kim really began to grow. In recent months, she has shown a growing interest in engaging in the work we do with families, and she helps facilitate a Nurturing Parenting class. Another way Kim demonstrates growth is by initiating, planning and organizing a Kid’s Fall Craft Day. Kim has planned the crafts for the kids, made arrangements for festive snack, and created the invitation. Finally, Kim recently offered to attend a resource fair in our community on a Saturday to offer support and be a representative for MCH. Kim is a strong, compassionate and dedicated teammate who supports our work with families. She offers a rich and valuable perspective and she is a fun and energetic friend.”
Dooley has worked for MCH since February 2013. “I was shocked when I heard my named called!” remarked Dooley, “It is such an honor to have been recognized.”

Alicia Carter, director of the Albuquerque Outreach office, and Dooley’s supervisor, had this to share: “MCH could not have selected a more worthy candidate. Kim is a real blessing to us here in the Albuquerque office and MCH. We are grateful for her and enjoy her company very much.”

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

FFA class competes in Holiday Classic

On Nov. 8-9, 23 MCH School FFA students competed in the Holiday Classic livestock show in Belton, Texas. The show is an educational event hosted by County Extension Agents in District 8. See below for a list of results.

GoatsClass 1: Chris – 5th; Tamika – 10th
Class 5:  Ladarius – 10th
Class 6:  Alex – 10th; Kiyanna – 17th

Class 2 Southdown:  Jess – 4th; Iyana – 5th
Class 1 Medium Wool:  Hawa – 1st

Heifer Class 3:  Star – 3rd
American Steers:  Justice – 2nd
Exotic Steers Class 3:  Damion – 2nd, Justice – 3rd; Raymond – 5th

Duroc Class 3:  Prince – 4th; Julio – 8th; Chyce – 9th
Duroc Class 4:  Jacob – 4th
Hamp Class 2:  Sonja – 5th
Hamp Class 3:  Marvin – 8th; Diego – 9th
Cross:  Noah – 5th; Nick, Drennon, and Mikayla participated

Also, Raymond won a set of clippers in the door prize drawings that will be used by all students to help prepare animals for future shows.

“This was the largest group that the Methodist Children’s Home has sent since I have been the ag teacher,” said Steve Kruse of MCHS. “I really enjoyed watching the students show and improve every time they show.”

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Staff attend TBRI training

MCH staff are ready to share their knowledge on Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) after a five-day training in Fort Worth Oct. 13-17.  Twenty-one staff members from Waco, Boys Ranch and the outreach offices attended the TBRI Professional Training Program on “Empowering, Connecting, and Correcting” children from hard places which prepares participants to train others in the childcare method.

TBRI is an intervention model of care for a wide range of childhood behavioral problems designed for children who have experienced relationship-based trauma. MCH partnered with Texas Christian University’s Institute of Child Development to implement TBRI into our everyday care. Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross of TCU developed the strategies and principles of TBRI and led the five-day training.

Before attending, each participant took a neurotransmitter lab test and submitted to a two-hour phone interview about their childhood in order to determine their adult attachment style. This allowed them to see what each child in the program goes through while also providing insight into their own lives in order to help prepare them to care for traumatized children.

All staff who attended the training in Fort Worth began pre-coursework from July 28-Oct. 6 and will also be responsible for 11 weeks of post-training beginning in November. After completion, the staff will be certified to teach TBRI to other staff.

“It was a wonderful experience and we all walked away with more knowledge about TBRI and new skills to bring back to our programs,” said Philana Hollingsworth, case manager for MCH Family Outreach in Tyler. “It was a time to get to know others working in our line of work and to reflect on the true purpose of why we do what we do... to offer hope to children and families.”

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

MCH Family Outreach staff in the community

MCH Family Outreach staff from Lufkin and Waco spent the weekend of Oct. 25-26 connecting with the community at local events.

On Saturday, the Lufkin outreach staff participated in the Fall Festival at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Lufkin where they had a booth with information about MCH and invited children to create bird feeders. On Sunday, staff participated in “Trunk or Treat” at First United Methodist Church. “Trunk or Treat” is a safe alternative to trick-or-treating where children can walk from car-to-car in the parking lot to collect candy.

“Outreach staff enjoyed the opportunity to fellowship with local churches and the community,” said Diana Landeros, administrative secretary for the Lufkin Outreach office.

In Waco, staff joined other organizations in the area for World Hunger Relief, Inc.’s Fall Farm Day. World Hunger Relief, Inc. is a Christian organization whose mission is “committed to the alleviation of hunger around the world.”

Farm Day is a community event where families from all over Waco and the surrounding areas visit and explore the World Hunger Farm. The day is packed full of events ranging from horseback rides, a petting zoo, goat milking demonstrations, hay-ride tours, and storytelling. In addition to the many family events, the World Hunger Farm invites community partners to share their services with everyone in attendance.

“This year, MCH Family Outreach was thrilled to be represented at such a unique community event,” said Brett Greenfield, case manager for Waco outreach. “The Waco Outreach office had the opportunity to share information about our services both with families and other community partners. And just for fun, we even had a jewelry making station for the kids. MCH Family Outreach is always looking for opportunities to be present in the Waco community, and Farm Day was a unique and fun way for us to do just that!” 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ag show in Clifton, Texas

On Saturday, Oct. 25, eight youth from the Waco campus and Boys Ranch participated in the Crawford FFA show in Clifton, Texas. Stephen Kruse, agricultural sciences (ag) teacher, and James Fairchild, assistant ag teacher, were proud of the youths’ hard work. Although many of the youth and goats were still in need of more training to be show-ready, they gained valuable experience and showed great potential during the event. 

“This was the first time any of the youth had ever attended a goat show and we placed four out of six goats,” explained Kruse. “In the heifer show, Star has emerged as one of those youth that can handle and show any species of livestock. Mikayla showed a calf for the first time and did a good job. I feel that this was one of those shows the youth may have learned the most.”

Below are the results from the Crawford show:

Class two exotic heifers – Star, 5th place
Class three exotic heifers – Mikayla, 2nd place
Class 1 lightweight goats – Chris, 4th place
Class 1 lightweight goats – Tamika participated
Class 3 lightweight goats – Abby participated
Class 5 middleweight goats –Ladarius, 3rd place
Class 6 middleweight goats –Alex, 5th place; Kiyanna, 6th place

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Commissioners Event and Golf Classic 2014

 It was a busy and exciting weekend at Methodist Children’s Home on Oct. 17-18. On Friday afternoon supporters teed off for our second annual MCH Golf Classic fundraiser. Then Friday evening, commissioners arrived on the Waco campus for dinner and the Homecoming football game followed by Saturday educational sessions and a luncheon. Commissioners are MCH partners from churches in Texas and New Mexico who advocate for MCH in their communities.

Nineteen teams competed in the MCH Golf Classic. The four-man scramble tournament began with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. at Twin Rivers Golf Club in Waco. The team of Chris Goss, Todd Glaseman, Jaime McCoy and Josh Ludy won the tournament and received trophies and golf bags as their first place prize. Other prizes included gift cards for area restaurants, golf clubs and gear, and special items handmade by MCH students in the agricultural sciences program. Players learned more about MCH through signs displaying facts about the ministry placed at several tee boxes on the course.

A special thanks to our silver sponsor Insurors of Texas; bronze sponsors Northwest Optimist Club, John W. Erwin General Contractors, Patillo, Brown & Hill, and Naman Howell Smith & Lee;  and Integ who sponsored the banners and hole signs for the tournament. Food and beverages were provided by Rudy’s BBQ, Coca-Cola and Chick-fil-a.

The Heart of the Matter
Friday evening kicked off the two-day annual Commissioners event. The theme this year was getting back to “The Heart of the Matter.”

Forty-nine commissioners gathered at the pavilion in Heritage Park on the Waco campus for a presentation and dinner to learn about how they can help support the ministry. Commissioners heard from MCH alum Jimmy Hammond who announced the donation of the lights at the football field. After the dinner, commissioners joined other MCH Bulldog fans in the stands to enjoy the Homecoming football game versus Wylie Prep.

“Friday night proved to be a great way for our commissioners to experience our ministry in action,” said Lyle Mason, director of benefactor relations.

Saturday morning, commissioners returned to campus for a morning of educational sessions from MCH leadership. The speakers presented updates on how lives are changing through MCH Family Outreach and residential services programs.  The new logo was also introduced and, as Mason explained, “reminded us that ultimate transformation comes with the cross at the center.” To conclude the event, commissioners and staff attended a luncheon at Johnson Student Center where MCH President Tim Brown gave an informative speech about an emerging method in childcare used at Methodist Children’s Home through our partnership with Texas Christian University’s Institute of Child Development called Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI). TBRI is an intervention model of care for a wide range of childhood behavioral problems designed for children who have experienced relationship-based trauma.

“We wanted to make sure our commissioners walked away knowing how much we appreciate their friendship and advocacy,” Mason said. “And, we hope they left feeling connected, equipped and enthused to share the MCH story with those in their community.”

Click here for a photo gallery of the MCH Golf Classic 2014.
Click here for a photo gallery of Commissioners 2014. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Core Value Award for Relationships - Anthony Burns

Each year, Methodist Children’s Home recognizes staff members who exemplify the Core Values of the organization. Staff are nominated by their peers and are recognized at an all-staff meeting during which the Core Awards are given.

The core values of MCH are:
Christian Principles

Anthony Burns, at-risk coordinator, received the Core Award for Relationships. The Core Award for Relationships is defined as someone who builds healthy relationships through communication, respect, trust and love. According to his nomination, Burns “has a positive rapport with students at the MCH School and builds excellent trust-based relationships with them on a daily basis. Anthony has a strong and humorous personality and is often called to ‘break the ice’ in difficult situations. Anthony is a wonderful role model as one of our Safe School Ambassador facilitators. He is always willing to lend an ear and give advice to students, treating each student with respect. Anthony models Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) on a daily bases and consistently uses TBRI language with students, challenging them to focus on MCH Life Skills.”

Burns has worked at MCH for seven years. “Being recognized for a Core Award involving relationships with our youth is a great honor,” Burns said. “I believe establishing productive relationships with our youth is an important process and appreciate the opportunity to do that here at MCH.”

Amy Grisham, director of school support and Burn’s supervisor had this to share: “Building relationships is such an important part of working with our youth and Anthony excels at this and is a pleasure to work with each day.”

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Great Escape for Outreach Staff

Dallas Outreach
Each year, Methodist Children’s Home celebrates its staff by hosting a day of games, lunch and time for fellowship during the Great Escape. This day of thanks allows staff the opportunity to recharge and enjoy the company of their coworkers. Staff from Waco and the Boys Ranch gather at Heritage Park on the Waco campus for a cookout and games. Although outreach staff are unable to attend the Waco celebration, they are invited to plan their own day of relaxation and fun in their communities. 

Below is how some of our outreach offices celebrated this special day:

“For our great escape outing, Abilene staff went bowling at Primetime. Anna was the bowling champion of the day! After bowling we went out for salad and pizza. It was a great day of fun and fellowship and gave us a chance to get to know Sarah better since she is the newest member of our team.” – Megan Harbin, Director of Family Outreach - Abilene

“The Albuquerque staff chose Art Attack as our Great Escape activity.  We each picked a piece of ceramic pottery and had two hours to paint and be creative!  Each of us took our time as we selected a piece and we all enjoyed the opportunity to sit together, share a few laughs and focus on something other than work!  What a wonderful opportunity MCH gave us to connect and enjoy each other.  We are thankful!  And how neat that we’ve all got a special piece of pottery to remember the day by!” – Alicia Carter, Director of Family Outreach - Albuquerque

“The Houston Outreach Staff enjoyed a nice long lunch at Grand Lux Cafe in the Galleria.  We enjoyed talking and laughing with each other.  Our day was topped it off with great desserts and a shopping excursion at Nordstrom Rack.  This was a great way to relax, enjoy each other’s company and take a break from our hectic schedules.” – Veronica Whalon-Peters, Director of Family Outreach - Houston

“The Lubbock Outreach office spent their Great Escape enjoying lunch at a local restaurant and an afternoon of crafts. We visited a local business, Pinspired, to make a fall or winter decoration of our choice. The idea of their business is to provide people the resources to bring their Pinterest inspired ideas to life! Staff members were able to laugh, relax, fellowship with one another, show off their skills, and enjoy an afternoon away from the office! It was great to see everyone's creativity! We all enjoyed the experience and may be back for another day of crafting soon!” – Jessica Ham, Case Manager - Lubbock

“Lufkin Outreach celebrated the Great Escape by grabbing a quick lunch then bowling.  We had a great time together and had several laughs.  Diana enjoyed the challenge of trying to distract me from a strike and LaKiesha played a good game that was neck and neck with me, but I pulled ahead toward the end!” – Amanda Grimmett, Director of Family Outreach – Lufkin 

“I think the consensus is that most of us had never worked for an organization that cared for their employees as much as MCH does. The Great Escape is just one of the ways MCH takes care of their staff so they are refreshed and can continue to do wonderful work for the children and families. This year was my first year to attend The Great Escape and what a blessing it was! As a team we decided to go to Chris & Sam’s for lunch. After having the scrumptious meals we headed to Pottery Café to show our artistic sides. Although some found the painting experience somewhat stressful due to their perfectionist personalities the majority of us found it to be a fun, relaxing and bonding experience. We will forever hold this Great Escape in our hearts and mind. In the end all the paintings turned out beautiful! What a wonderful experience we were able to have thanks to MCH, our great administrator and our director for allowing us to choose a place as a team for the Great Escape.” - Edith Wineland, Administrative Assistant - Tyler

“For our Great Escape, we all got pedicures and then had lunch at a sweet little tea room, where they had prepared an assortment of teas, pastries and finger sandwiches. Tas made all the arrangements for us. We had a relaxing, lovely day. Rosemary shared that this was her first time ever getting a pedicure! It was a wonderful team building experience that I think, brought us all a little closer together.” – Tashika Smith, Director of Family Outreach - Dallas 

Thank you to all our outreach staff for their hard work in their communities throughout the year!

Abilene Outreach

Houston Outreach

Lubbock Outreach

Lufkin Outreach

Tyler Outreach

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Heart O’ Texas Fair and Rodeo 2014

Methodist Children’s Home FFA students had a strong showing at the 2014 Heart O’ Texas Fair and Rodeo. The fair was held at Extraco Events Center from Oct. 2-11. MCH students showed lamb, swine and steer during the event. Students care for and prepare the animals for showing at the Boys Ranch as part of the FFA program. 

Below are the results:

Duroc - Class 2:  Chayce – 6th; Class 3:  Jacob – 1st, Prince – 2nd, Julio – 3rd, JB – 4th, Marvin – 5th
Fine wool:  Quentin – participated
AOB Heifer:  Star – 3rd; Mikayla – participated

Spot – Class 1:  Diego – 6th
Cross – Class 3:  Noah – 9th, Mikayla – 7th, Sonja – 8th, Nick – 4th, Edgar – 6th; Class 4:  Dagim – 5th; Jalyn – 7th; Justice – 7th

Southdown:  Paloma – 6th; Iyanna – 7th; Jessica – 17th
Medium wool:  Star, Hawa, and Emily participated

Simbrah Steer:  Justice – 4th
Chianina Steer:  Raymond – 6th; Damion – 7th

Congratulations to all our FFA participants this year!