Tuesday, March 29, 2016

REcreation Weekend 2016

The Spiritual Development staff at Methodist Children’s Home hosted the REcreation event recently on the Waco campus for both Campus and Boys Ranch youth. REcreation is a communitywide event for MCH youth and staff to focus on spiritual growth and community building. 

“We hope that through this weekend of events our youth can see more of who God is and what He has prepared for them,” said Kim Clark, spiritual development director. “We do this through a concert, where people are using what gifts they have been given to glorify God and small groups where we can address pertinent topics.”

The event kicked off with a concert featuring Bus Seven, A.H.M.A.D.D. and Puntin as well as several youth from the Waco campus performing. Saturday’s sessions included guest speakers as well as the Spiritual Development staff covering topics such as knowing God and growing in faith. The youth were able to ask questions of our guests and ministers that dealt with daily life and what that looks like when trying to live a healthy, mature, Christ-centered life. Between sessions there was a senior luncheon to provide a time of encouragement, support and motivation to our upcoming graduates.

Ahmad Washington, spiritual development minister, said, “REcreation weekend was packed full of real, righteous and relevant teaching that touched many of our youth in both personal and powerful ways.”

Clark added, “We hope to address the youth’s concerns in light of a knowing, loving, forgiving and ever- present Christ. We want our youth to understand that they are known by God. He truly sees them and each of their struggles. He loves them unconditionally through all of these and He is the only one that can provide for them the self-confidence, strength and wisdom to navigate this life.”

Bus Seven

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

FUMC Waco donates $40,000 for new home on Waco campus

In a generous show of support, First United Methodist Church of Waco contributed $40,000 to the building of a new home on the Waco campus.

FUMC Waco’s senior pastor, the Rev. Steve Ramsdell, has been connected to the ministry of MCH for many years and currently serves on the board of directors and several leadership committees. The church was one of the founding congregations of Methodist Children’s Home when it began as an orphanage in 1890.

“Since we were there in the beginning and there fifty years ago when the last homes were built, it seems appropriate that we play a significant part in the building of this new home,” Ramsdell said. “We have many members who were raised or spent significant time at MCH in their years growing up and many members who serve in some capacity at MCH.”

The church has been a longtime supporter of the annual Christmas offering for MCH. In honor of the ministry’s 125th anniversary, the congregation wanted to make a special offering this year by contributing to the new building project.

“We have been touched by and shared in this ministry so many times through the years, it seemed to be a perfect opportunity to dedicate the 2015 Christmas offering at First United Methodist Church of Waco to the vision to modernize homes on the Waco campus in order to better serve young people in their care,” Ramsdell said. “With a few announcements as to the cause, reason, and need, it was our largest Christmas offering we’ve ever received. It is a privilege to give $40,000 to this sacred cause.”

On March 21, members of the church visited the construction site for the new home to get a glimpse of how their contribution will serve children as they work to rebuild their lives. The group formed a circle of prayer outside of the home and wrote messages of hope on a wall that will be incorporated into the home.

“Since 1890 this ministry has relied on God’s guidance and the generosity of others,” said Trey Oakley, vice president for development at MCH. “We know how many worthy causes this congregation supports and how many seek their support, and a gift of this size sends a strong statement about their belief in this project. It is a great encouragement to our ministry.”

The state-of-the-art building is the first new home built on the Waco campus in more than 50 years. Construction is expected to be completed by May 2016.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Job Shadow day at MCHS

Several students from Methodist Children’s Home Charter School (MCHS) got a glimpse of the workforce recently during a job shadow day. The four selected students spent the morning at Allen Samuels automobile dealership to learn about the business and the education and skills needed to become successful in the industry.

The job shadow day was part of an initiative by the Heart of Texas P-20 Council, Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, Waco Business League, and Prosper Waco. Samantha Dove, instructional coach at MCHS, attends the P-20 council meetings and coordinated the event for our students.

“The mission of P-20 is to create a clear pathway for students to follow from Pre-K to postsecondary education and on into the workforce,” Dove said. “Without a clear pathway to college and beyond, many students get lost and leave high school without clear educational career goals. P-20 is looking to reduce the number of lost students leaving high school by providing initiatives that are intended to give students a glimpse into what it would be like in a future career of their choosing.”

Dove received a list of participating businesses and the selected students chose to visit the car dealership. On March 4, the senior girls were taken on a tour that began in the sales area and led into management so that they could see how employees start in the business and work their way up.

“The students enjoyed the shadowing experience and came out with a new sense of drive and direction,” Dove said. “They began talking about the possibilities of what they could do after graduation and how they could reach the new goals they set at job shadow day.”

MCHS hopes to expand the program in the future to more students and businesses.

“We believe all of our students could benefit from job shadow day and we are looking to increase participation in the years to come,” Dove said.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Two Family Outreach offices move to new locations

Tyler outreach staff at the Open House
Two MCH Family Outreach offices got new homes recently after outgrowing their locations. Our offices in Tyler and El Paso relocated to larger office buildings in order to better accommodate their needs.

The El Paso outreach office was moved to its new location at 1514 N. Zaragoza Road at the end of February. This location, on the east side of El Paso, will provide space for a growing Family Outreach team as well as proximity to a thriving part of the city. 

Zahire Gonzalez-Villa, El Paso director, invited the Rev. Lourdes Calderon, Associate Pastor of St. Mark United Methodist Church, and the Rev. Roberto Alvarado, Vicar of the Catholic Diocese of El Paso, to visit the space and give a blessing to the staff and the work that will be done from the new location. Reverends Calderon and Alvarado visited with the team and walked through the space reciting prayers for the agency, the outreach team, and the families who will be served. 

“It was a simple ceremony with significant meaning, and a great way to get things started at the new location,” Gonzalez-Villa said.

The Tyler outreach office hosted an Open House on Feb. 25 and invited the community to visit and learn more about the services provided. The office is now located at 921 Shiloh Road, Suite B-300. The staff welcomed visitors, gave tours and provided refreshments and information about our services.  

El Paso outreach staff with Rev. Lourdes Calderon and Rev. Roberto Alvarado
Rev. Alvarado reciting prayers for the El Paso office.
Tyler Open House

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Methodist Children’s Home hosts third annual MCH 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run

MCH invites the community to join us for the third annual MCH 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run. This special fundraiser supports the MCH mission to offer hope to children, youth and families in a nurturing, Christian community.

The event will be held on Saturday, April 9 on the MCH campus located at 1111 Herring Ave. in Waco. Participants will follow a race route through the hills of our Waco campus and portions of Cameron Park. Click here for a racemap.

Late registration starts at 7:30 a.m. with the fun run at 8:30 a.m. and 5K at 9 a.m., followed by the awards ceremony. Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q is providing breakfast for participants with beverages compliments of Coca-Cola. Runners who are interested are encouraged to sign up prior to March 15 in order to receive a race t-shirt prior to the event. Participants can run as individuals or get a team together for the race. Click here to register.

Media partners are ESPN Central Texas, Mix 101.3, 92.9 Shooter FM, KCEN-TV and Waco Board. Platinum sponsors include Magnolia, MCH Alumni Association, John W. Erwin General Contractor, Inc., and Rockn A Farm.

“We’re excited for the community to see our beautiful, historic campus and learn more about the wonderful things happening here through our ministry,” said Allison Crawford, director of volunteers and events at MCH. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

MCHS credit recovery program helps students find success

The Methodist Children’s Home School helps students achieve their academic goals. Most schools have some form of computer-based classrooms for students that are in need of credit recovery. MCH uses the OdysseyWare computer-based program that offers curriculum for electives and core classes.

“Our district chose OdysseyWare because of the numerous electives that are offered and because it seemed to fit with the Texas curriculum better,” said Michelle Arocha, assistant principal.
Some of the courses offered are Business, Health Services, Criminal Justice, Math, Science, Social Studies and English. The program is self-paced so the students are able to work through their lessons and gain credit at a faster rate. Students are given incentives to stay on task and meet curriculum deadlines for the program.

“Joyce Shannon, facilitator and Bridgett Johnson, youth care counselor, have created an environment in the OdysseyWare classroom that fosters responsibility and rewards persistence,” added Arocha. “Bridgett and Joyce go out of their way to help students find success and a sense of accomplishment. Their students earn a star for each course they complete. Students have completed so many courses so far this year they are hanging stars from the ceiling.”

Shannon and Johnson bring 31 years of combined service to MCH having worked directly with our students, both in the school and in the students’ homes on the Waco campus.

Shannon said, “I love being part of the students’ day and helping them prepare for life and seeing them gain confidence in themselves. The student is responsible for their decisions and the results of the effort they put into it, and that is exciting.”

“I love how I have opportunities to talk with students about their education and the blessing of a second chance,” added Johnson. “Our classroom motto is ‘Reach beyond the sky, reach for the stars, to infinity and beyond.’ We want our students to know that the sky is not the limit but go beyond the sky and grab a star.”