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!”