Thursday, April 23, 2015

Core Value Award for Christian Principles - Jack and Donna Ratliff

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 Awards for MCH are:
Christian Principles

Jack and Donna Ratliff, home parents at the Boys Ranch, received the Core Award for Christian Principles at the spring 2015 all-staff meeting. The recipient of the Core Award for Christian Principles is someone who applies the principles of the Christian faith which serve as the foundation for this ministry.
According to the Ratliff’s nomination, “Jack and Donna are a dynamic duo who have made a positive impact on our youth and staff. With smiles, giving hearts, and an aura of ease they work to make each day memorable and useful to our youth. The Ratliff’s share a strong bond with the boys, and continue some of those relationships after youth leave. The Ratliff’s each model Christian Principles through their compassion, understanding and empathy for those around them. They recognize the strengths in our youth and work diligently to help them be successful.”

The Ratliff’s have worked at the Boys Ranch for two and half years. “I tell the boys all the time that I cannot take the place of their parent,” said Jack. “But I will be a godly example for them of how a man should act and live.”

Donna stated, “I am very proud to be given the Christian Principle core award. We strive to instill Christian principles in the boys and hope that they see that we structure our lives that way ourselves.”

Dorothy Phillips, unit manager, and the Ratliff’s supervisor had this to share: “The Ratliff’s are a spiritually lead couple who encourage our youth to live their lives through biblical principles on a daily basis. It is an honor to be able to work with them.”

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Cardboard Kids Campaign – MCH Family Outreach in San Antonio

Methodist Children’s Home Family Outreach office in San Antonio participated in the Cardboard Kids Campaign sponsored by Child Safe and Valero. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and organizations and individuals in Bexar County were encouraged to participate and help bring awareness to child abuse and neglect.

Cardboard Kids are two-feet tall cardboard figures shaped like children. The cutouts are decorated, named and then displayed. Approximately 20,000 cardboard cutouts were distributed to participating agencies and organizations. These included schools, social service agencies, local businesses and individuals.

The San Antonio Outreach office decorated a cardboard kid named “Lily,” and displayed her outside their office. A challenge was issued to the San Antonio community to bring this campaign to social media. If you spotted a Cardboard Kid, you were asked to take a picture and post to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using #cardboardkidsSA.

“Our cardboard kid not only served as a message about child abuse and neglect, but also broadcasts that there are agencies and programs to help this population,” said Jessica Butter, San Antonio outreach director. “I feel Methodist Children’s Home offers unique services to families that otherwise may not receive the help and hope that they need.”

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

MCH students shine at TCAF competitions

Rachael, winner of Best of Show and People's Choice
for TCAF Visual Arts Festival.
There’s a lot of talent at Methodist Children’s Home and many students received recognition for their months of preparation and hard work during the recent Texas Christian Athletic Fellowship (TCAF) competitions. MCH students competed against other schools in Texas in TCAF’s Visual Arts Festival, Fine Arts Festival, and Cheer Competition.

This was the first time MCH competed in the visual and fine arts festivals and some of the students’ first time to participate in a judged event or performance. Students were judged on a scale of fair (lowest), good, excellent and superior (highest) ratings.

“I think it was such a beneficial experience for our students, because it first caused them to spend focused time and effort toward learning and perfecting a skill or performance, whether that was instrumental, vocal, acting or dance, and then gave them a chance to showcase their work and be affirmed by others for the talents that they have,” said Kimberly Bobbitt, director of recreation. “The students walked away with constructive feedback and renewed desire to keep working on and developing their skills.”

First up was the TCAF Visual Arts Festival on March 19-20 at Hill School in Fort Worth. MCH had one student, Rachael, compete in the contest. Rachael sought out the opportunity to compete in the art contest, asking about the possibility after TCAF contests last year. She entered her artwork into the Charcoal category and received first place with a superior rating. Her piece went on to also receive Best of Show as well as the People’s Choice Award, both of the top awards for the high school division.

“I think the opportunity was beneficial for Rachael because it allowed her to showcase her talents and receive affirmation of her abilities,” Bobbitt said. “She was most surprised to receive the People’s Choice award as we were the only two representatives there that day from the MCH charter school. So she received affirmation not only from judges, but also from other teachers and peers who saw her work.”

The TCAF Fine Arts Festival was held on March 23 hosted by Community Christian School at Well of Life Church in Mineral Wells. Students from MCH’s theatre, choir and drumline programs competed, receiving high marks. For choir, Alexis, Hawa and Vanessa competed in the vocal solo contest receiving ratings of excellent, excellent and superior, respectively. Vanessa, Hawa and Katelyn also competed in the vocal trio category and received an excellent rating.

For theatre, Grace and Beth both received superior ratings for the monologues while Emberlynn and Justice received an excellent rating for the duet act.

“From memorizing their lines to coming in for rehearsals outside the afterschool program time, the students showed a lot of dedication which served them well in the festival,” said Kira Rockwell, recreation coordinator and theatre instructor. “The students were elated to walk away feeling like champions, as they should, for the work they had prepared.”

In drumline, Nick and Jeffrey performed an instrumental ensemble receiving a superior rating. Kelli also performed an interpretive dance and received a superior rating.

For the TCAF Cheer competition, MCHS’s cheer squad consisting of Ema, Destiny, Paloma, Kelli, Sonja, Jaelyne and Brianna, won first place overall in the novice cheer division.

“We are so proud of our students and the commitment and dedication of our afterschool programs for using their skills and talent to compete against other great schools in Texas,” said Anthony Mead, afterschool coordinator. “Our students have truly embodied the MCH life skills by focusing and finishing what they started and building healthy relationships amongst their instructors, peers, and other schools they competed against. Our students take ownership of these programs and use them to express themselves in healthy and constructive ways. This is why we do afterschool programs, to provide an outlet for creatively expressing yourself, learning positive life skills, and having a blast doing it!”


Rachael - Visual arts

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Four MCH players named to Waco Tribune-Herald’s Super-Centex team

Jaylon was chosen for the Super Centex First Team.
(shown here with Kevin Henry, MCH athletic director)
Congratulations to Kiyana, Jaylon, Austin and Brandon who were named to the Waco Tribune-Herald’s 2015 Super Centex basketball team. The girls and boys teams were announced on March 28 and 29.

Each year, the Waco Tribune-Herald honors high school athletes who have had strong performances for their teams the season.

“Being named to the Waco Tribune-Herald Super Centex Team is great honor,” said Kevin Henry, MCH athletic director. “These players were selected out of all 19 school districts in McLennan County and all private and charter schools. All of them had great seasons for MCH and we look for great things from them in the future.” 

Methodist Children’s Home School was represented by the following:

Girls Basketball Team:
Honorable Mention – Kiyana
Kiyana is currently a junior. This season she averaged 19 points and 11 rebounds per game for the Bulldogs.

Boys Basketball Team:
First Team – Jaylon
Jaylon is a senior this year and averaged 27 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists per game. He also averaged 5 steals per game.

Honorable Mention – Austin
Austin is currently a junior. He had an average of 14 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists per game. He also averaged 6 steals per game.

Honorable Mention – Brandon
Brandon is a junior. This season he averaged 10 points and 9 rebounds per game.

Jaylon and Austin also played in the Texas Christian Athletic Fellowship All Star game on March 21 in Fort Worth where Jaylon was named MVP in the game. 

Jaylon will play in the Texas Shootout sponsored by the Texas Sports Hall of Fame on May 2 at Baylor University’s Ferrell Center and the Good Grades Good Hoops All Star Game on May 9 at McLennan Community College.

“Jaylon had an unbelievable year for us,” Henry said. “His leadership on and off the floor was valuable for our young team.”

Monday, April 6, 2015

MCH youth learn through FFA Judging contest

Methodist Children’s Home School provided an opportunity for the Agricultural class to participate in an open livestock judging contest. Stephen Kruse, Ag teacher, took 12 youth on Friday, March 27, to Corsicana for the competition.

During the judging contest, youth work in teams to scrutinize several animals including goats, pigs, sheep and cattle, and try to come as close as possible to what an official said about the animal. At this competition, the official was a professor from Texas A&M University. They then take a written test and speak about why they made the judgement they did. Kruse said the youth learn valuable life lessons through these competitions such as reasoning and defending their actions and speaking in front of groups.

“We have been attending this competition for the past seven years,” said Kruse. “Our youth set goals during the year and if they attain certain scores during local competitions they are eligible to compete in the area contest in Stephenville, Texas on April 8.”
This year Team 1 who consisted of Starr, Diego, Justus and Chayce, did just that and advanced to the Stephenville competition.

“I am proud of all our students especially the ones that advanced,” Kruse said.