Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Core Value Award for Service - Julie Spiech

Julie Spiech, a unit manager for the Waco Campus, received the Core Award for Service. Julie exemplifies a spirit of service with her dedication and attention to detail. Julie is a hard worker who does not hesitate to offer help when she is needed. She volunteers to assist her peers in providing coverage and training to new employees on various aspects of the unit manager position.  Julie’s long term relationships with the youth she has served reflect the amount of investment that she puts into her work with each one. Julie is often called upon by former residents for advice, support, or just to “catch up” over lunch. Julie’s work day is never “done” if there are needs to be met, youth to talk to, or staff coverage to be found. Julie ensures that everything is running smoothly. Julie maintains an upbeat attitude even in difficult times. She can always find the positive in any situation. Julie’s hard work ethic combined with her compassionate heart are a refreshing inspiration to everyone around her.

Friday, May 23, 2014

End of the Year Awards 2014

MCH celebrated its seniors and other students during the Senior Sunday service and MCH School Awards ceremony.  Senior Sunday is a special worship service where MCH seniors are honored with a Bible and awards to acknowledge their accomplishments during their time at Methodist Children’s Home. The following are the recipients of these special senior awards for Core Values and academic accomplishments:

Relationship Award – Moises, Emily, Chelsea
Growth Award – Ty, Elizabeth, Thomas, Sierra, Maleak
Service Award – Brandon, Savannah
Hope Award – Eliza, Patricia, Noel
Responsibility Award – Noel, Tristan, Ahadu
Courage Award – Dakota, Stanley, Elena, Lloyd
The Charles W. and Mariam Hawes Academic Excellence Award – David, Wilmaneice
Outstanding Senior Male and Female Awards – CJ, Hermon, Claudia

The Methodist Children’s Home School, in partnership with the University of Texas-University Charter School, recognized its students’ achievements in academics (UIL, art, honor roll) and extracurricular activities including Student Council, Safe School Ambassadors, Pan American Student Forum, athletics, recreation and Ag/FFA. Students received certificates, letter jackets, patches and plaques to honor their successes this year. Below is a listing of several top awards:

Best overall visual artist – Rachael
Most tenacious craftsman – Kemper
Most improved craftsmanship – Tristan

Most Improved – Christina
Most Valuable – Destiny

Proficiency Awards:
Ag Mechanics Design and Fabrication – Cedric, Dakota, Maleak
Sheep Production – Starr
Beef Production – Brandon
Star Greenhand – Dusty
Star Discovery – Michael
Chapter Star in Agriscience (Overall Crew Champion) – Lloyd
Swine Production – Diego
Diversified Agriculture Production – Mikayla

Ranch Belt Buckles:
Cattle – Brandon
Swine – Diego
Sheep – Starr

JV Volleyball:
Most Improved Player (MIP) – Destiny
Most Valuable Player (MVP ) – Tameka

Varsity Volleyball:
MIP – Aaren
MVP – Emily

JV Football:
MIP – Caston
MVP – Tristan

Varsity Football:
MIP – Michael
MVP – Stanley, Tyrone

Varsity Girls Basketball:
MIP – Christal
MVP – Kiyanna

JV Boys Basketball:
MIP – Jakeema
MVP – Maleak

Varsity Boys Basketball:
MIP – Brandon

Girls Track:
MIP – Alyssa
MVP – Ja’Vianne

Boys Track:
MIP – Tyler
MVP – Roland

Bobby Gilliam Student-Athlete of the Year:
Girls – Aaren
Boys – Ty

Congratulations to all of our students on a successful school year! 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Spring Variety Show 2014

Ema performed a monologue and original song
during the Spring Variety Show.
On May 15, MCH’s choir and one-act play classes ended the school year on a high note with the Spring Variety Show at Harrell Memorial Chapel. Students from these after school programs performed in front of an audience of their peers, MCH staff and families.

The variety show included solo and group performances from the choir, as well as monologues and duet acting from one-act play. This was the first year MCH offered these classes in its after school programs.
These students also competed in the Texas Christian Athletic League (TCAL) Fine Arts and Academics competition for the first time this year. Entries included solos, ensembles, choir, monologues, poetry interpretation, duet acting and one act play. The choir performance was awarded fifth place. Ema, a Waco resident and student in the one-act play class, won sixth place for her monologue.

Performing in front of an audience was a big step for many of the students,” said Beth Harris, recreation director. “I was really proud of them! It took a lot of courage for them to perform in front of judges at TCAL and in front of their peers at the Spring Variety Show. The audience at MCH was such an encouragement to the students. I heard a lot of great feedback for the students who performed.” 

This year’s choir class was led by instructor Amy Toney and assisted by recreation coordinator and pianist Kimberly Bobbitt. Kira Rockwell was MCH’s theater instructor.

James performed a monologue from "The Women of Lockerbie."

Hawa sang "Let it Go" for her solo performance.

Thomas and DJ chose to perform "Animals Out of Paper."

The Spring Variety Show was hosted by Desi and Justice.

Vanessa sang "Read All About It" for her solo performance.

Monday, May 19, 2014

GAPP grandmother shares financial lessons

Yolanda Warner, part of the Grandparents As Parents Program at MCH Family Outreach in Waco since 2010, found the help she needed to gain stability as she cares for her grandchildren.  She has full custody of her 8-year-old grandson and also frequently cares for her 11- and 6-year-old granddaughters and found herself struggling financially.

MCH Family Outreach connected Warner to a local freelance financial coach, Phil Oliver, who works with families in the community as they learn to adjust their budgets.

“I’m terrible with money,” Warner said. “Mr. Oliver showed me how some things are needs and most things are really a want. I’m learning to spend money better so it will go further.”

Oliver said the first step he takes with his clients is helping them to establish financial goals and look at ways they can be achieved. He said if they find that there is a deficiency in the money they earn, they must choose to either work more, spend less or sell something of value. He utilizes the envelope system where a budget is made and strictly followed. Money is designated for certain areas of spending, such as for entertainment, and placed in an envelope. Once that money is gone, it cannot be replenished.

He encourages the whole family to get involved in these goals and the actions necessary to change spending habits.  For Warner, this meant her grandson must also participate in the process.

“My grandson has a piggy bank now,” Warner said. She said he has been saving for three months and will get to open the piggy bank and count his savings at his next birthday. 

Warner and her grandson also help each other out at the store, reminding each other to “stick to the list” and not to splurge on extras they don’t need.

“I think it’s awesome,” Oliver said. “I get excited. It’s one thing to teach, one thing to do and another to hear about it working. I feel like this is sharing something that will keep going on down the line, sharing a legacy.”
Warner’s case manager, Rehan McNeil, commends the work Warner has been doing to get her finances under control in order to better support her grandchildren.

“The progress Ms. Warner has made is a perfect example of what can happen when clients are motivated to succeed,” McNeil said. “Ms. Warner’s partnership with Mr. Oliver is not only helping her make better financial decisions, but she is also demonstrating and modeling sound financial stewardship for her grandson.  She utilizes the financial coaching she has received from Mr. Oliver to teach her grandson money management skills that will hopefully follow him into adulthood.  This is what we long to see in working with our family preservation clients - improved life skills that will have a long-term impact on the entire household.”  

Friday, May 16, 2014

Core Value Award for Responsibility - Colin Campbell

Colin Campbell, music and worship arts minister, received the Core Value Award for Responsibility. Colin is willing to take on additional responsibilities to serve students and other departments at MCH. An example of this is the MCH Drum Line that Colin started this past year. He worked with drum line students after school to prepare them for pep rallies and football games. The students gained confidence in themselves as they learned new skills and to work together as a group. Colin takes his responsibilities seriously and does everything with excellence. Colin is also willing to help with other needs around campus, whether it is setting up the sound system for football games, TBRI training, luncheons or all-staff meetings. Colin is ready to take on the task. These services are in addition to his weekly job responsibilities of leading worship, praise team, individual music lessons and other Spiritual Development needs. Colin is a blessing to the students and staff at MCH.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Good Grades-Good Hoops All-Star Game 2014

CJ, a Waco resident and senior, and MCHS basketball coach Kevin Henry participated in the Good Grades–Good Hoops All-Star Classic on May 3 at McLennan Community College. The game honors students in Central Texas high schools who have excelled on the basketball court as well as in the classroom. Players are treated to a luncheon prior to the basketball game.

For the fourth year in a row, Coach Henry was asked to coach one of the all-star teams. He was matched up with CJ’s team and they won their game 71-65.  

“This is a neat game and I am glad that CJ and I were able to be a part of it,” Henry said.  “CJ has grown as a person and as a basketball player over the last two years here at MCH, and I was excited to get to coach him one last time before he graduates.” 

CJ concluded his senior season by playing in his last all-star game, the Texas Shootout, on May 10 at Baylor University. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Lemonade Days in Lubbock

Lubbock held their annual Lemonade Day event on Saturday, May 3. Lemonade Day Lubbock was started as a way to empower today’s youth to become tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. Participants receive lessons on running a business prior to the event in order to prepare them for the day. Rebecca, a former Grandparents As Parents Program (GAPP) client and current member of the GAPP support group, is raising her five grandchildren, Melina (17), Jacob (15), Isabella (12), Decembra (10), and Landon (8).

The children wanted to participate in Lemonade Day and decided to name their stand “Best in the West Lemonade.” They were determined to build their own lemonade stand out of scraps of wood and were able to gather what they needed just in time for the event. They made a pink stand for girls and a blue stand for boys. Due to prior commitments, Melina, Jacob, and Isabella were unable to be there for the sale. However, Decembra and Landon took charge and worked hard to flag down cars to stop and have some lemonade. Rebecca and the youth generously donated the proceeds from the stand to Methodist Children’s Home. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Core Value Award for Responsibility - Rachel Swain

Rachel Swain, youth care counselor, received the Core Value Award for Responsibility. Rachel shows responsibility in her daily work with staff and students at the Methodist Children’s Home School. Rachel is organized and dependable. She also has a hard working and dedicated attitude. Rachel has developed a curriculum to work with students in the Student Support Center and leads them in discussion regarding areas they are struggling in. She is a self-starter and takes initiative to complete tasks with little or no direction.  Rachel strives for perfection in her daily work and is an asset to MCH.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Child Abuse Prevention Month

Staff from Family Outreach in Houston recognized Child Abuse Prevention month last week with a symbolic gesture. Blue and white balloons, the official colors for child abuse prevention, were released to honor victims of child abuse. MCH Family Outreach offices in Texas and New Mexico participate in events and ceremonies throughout the month to bring awareness and promote the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

Each year in April, the President of the United States issues a proclamation to announce National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Many state governors also issue proclamations to encourage public awareness of child abuse and neglect, recommit State resources to the cause, and promote community involvement through State and local activities.

Every ten seconds a report of child abuse is made in the United States. Last year there were 5,929 confirmed victims of abuse in Harris County alone.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Recreation offers new dance class

MCH residents with a love for dance now have a chance to practice their skills every Tuesday night on the Waco campus. The Recreation department started up a dance class for students of all skill levels on April 1.

“The dance class is just for fun and gives students the opportunity to learn and practice different kinds of dance,” said Beth Harris, recreation director.

Students meet for an hour each week. The first dance they learned was a jazz/hip hop routine. They just began a new dance last week. Classes are taught by volunteer instructors from Baylor University Jakaycee Chaney and Jennifer Dike.

“The volunteers are energetic and really enjoy working with our students,” Harris said.

The classes will continue until the end of the school year.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Core Value Award for Growth - Holli Collins

Holli Collins, Tyler outreach director, received the Core Value Award for Growth.  Holli has a deep passion for the outreach work we do in the Tyler area.  She has helped grow the programs and staff to meet clients’ needs. Holli not only supports her staff, but also recruits and licenses new foster homes.  Holli has facilitated the licensure of 11 new foster homes in the past year. She networks well with churches and community leaders to stay connected to those who may need our services.  Holli devotes herself to the growth in the quality of services we provide and to her professional growth. MCH is blessed to have her as part of our team.