Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Core Value Award for Responsibility - Jean Wright

Methodist Children’s Home (MCH) annually recognizes staff who exemplify our Core Values. Staff are nominated by their peers and recognized at an all-staff meeting.

The Core Values for MCH are:
Christian Principles

Jean Wright, staff trainer, received the 2016 Core Award for Responsibility at the all-staff meeting in March. The recipient of the Core Award for Responsibility is someone who is accountable for self and others.

According to Wright’s nomination, “Jean goes above and beyond her work duties as a staff trainer to serve the ministry of MCH. Jean serves as the Mentor Committee co-chair. The growth of this program owes much to Jean’s leadership and responsibility. She repeatedly takes steps above and beyond what is expected, keeps the committee well informed, and helps us keep a high level of accountability to assure the success of the work we are trying to accomplish. She is always on top of things, well prepared, consistently helpful, and encouraging. Jean stands out as a person who exemplifies what it means to take on responsibilities at MCH to help this ministry succeed in all that it does.”

“I was humbled and thankful to receive the Core Value Award for Responsibility. There are many MCH employees who are far more deserving of this recognition, but it is especially meaningful to be acknowledged by your co-workers,” said Wright.

John Warren, training director and Wright’s supervisor had this to share, “It was no surprise that Jean was nominated for the Core Award for Responsibility. She is a valuable asset to the training department and to MCH. Responsibility is a characteristic that defined her both in her role as a youth care counselor (YCC) and now as a staff trainer. I am so proud to see her recognized, and excited to see how she will impact the agency in the future!”

Monday, April 25, 2016

MCHS Students show talents in fine arts and cheer competitions

The MCHS cheerleaders wore the jackets they won
during competition this month in San Antonio.
This month, several Methodist Children’s Home School (MCHS) students competed against their peers during a cheer competition at Sea World and the Texas Christian Athletic Fellowship Fine Arts competition.

A team of five girls traveled to San Antonio to showcase their hard work at the Spirit Celebration events on April 2-3. The MCHS cheer program won first place in their division, receiving medals, jackets and a $1,000 donation to CASA programs. Cheerleaders Ema, Kelli, Rainn, Iyahnna and Emberlynn were led by their coach Storme Moore who said she was proud of the work the team put in to prepare for competition.

“By competing in cheerleading competitions, such as Spirit Celebration Events, MCH students are able to gain valuable life experiences which allow them to build their skill sets in the sport and feel a sense of empowerment by competing against their peers from other public and private schools in Texas,” Moore said. “After the completion of each competition, they have expressed a higher level of self-esteem and stronger love for the sport.”

On April 4, MCHS students also faced the judges during the Texas Christian Athletic Fellowship fine arts competition. The students performed musical duets, vocal solos and duets, dance routines, and theater monologues as well as performed as a choir group. The results were:

Chris (theater monologue): Excellent
Skylar (theater monologue): Superior, Second Place overall for all Monologues
MCH Choir Group: Good
Jesse (vocal solo): Excellent
Hawa (vocal solo): Excellent
Jamia (vocal solo): Good
Vanessa (vocal solo): Excellent
Alfred (vocal solo): Excellent
Hawa and Jordan (vocal duet): Good
Iona (vocal solo in Italian): Good
Kelli (dance solo): Good
Rainn (dance solo): Good
Emberlynn and Kelli (dance duet): Good
Justice and Apryl (xylophone duet): Good

The MCH choir is led by director Jill Sims who works with the students during afterschool programs.

“I love seeing the students believe in themselves and accomplish something that they never thought was possible, such as singing a solo for the very first time or singing Italian art songs as a 13- or 15-year-old,” Sims said. “I also enjoy taking them to concerts and seeing their eagerness to experience musical styles across the spectrum. The greatest enjoyment, however, comes when they are proud of what they accomplish together. Watching them celebrate finally learning a difficult choir piece, or enjoy singing in another language, are among the greatest moments that I experience in my role as the choir director.”

Rick Kleine, drumline instructor, feels competitions such as these are beneficial for students.

“Students gain confidence, knowing that if they work on it, they will achieve which is something that we all need, particularly teenagers,” Kleine said. “Working on their event, performing it and then taking the critique (positive or negative) is crucial for every teen.”

Congratulations to all our students who participated in the competitions this month!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Core Value Award for Relationships - Christina Gerhardt

Methodist Children’s Home (MCH) annually recognizes staff who exemplify our Core Values. Staff are nominated by their peers and recognized at an all-staff meeting.

Then MCH Core Values are:
Christian Principles

Christina Gerhardt, director of transition services, received the 2016 Core Value award for Relationships at the all-staff meeting in March. The recipient of the Core Award for Relationships is someone who builds healthy relationships through communication, respect, trust and love.

According to Gerhardt’s nomination, “Christiana has worked at MCH for eleven years, as a unit manager for several homes and currently as the director of Transition Services (TS). Christina is very organized, dependable and reliable. She works diligently to build healthy, trusting relations with our youth by continuously being involved in their curriculum and keeping in contact with them, offering words of wisdom. Christina’s relationships continues with her staff, building connections and making them feel appreciated, respected and part of the team. She is always willing to go that extra mile to give a hand when help is needed. She builds relationships with new staff by offering assistance as they adapt to their new roles. Christina has been warm and welcoming as she took on her role as Director of TS. She took the time to get to know her staff as a group and as individuals. She has been open to listening to how things have been done and has listened to new ideas for the future. She was open and friendly as a unit manager and it has helped with moving into her new role. She always has a warm smile on her face and helps you when you are having a bad day. Christina exemplifies ‘relationships.’ MCH is blessed to have her as part of the team.”

“I am honored to be recognized for building relationships with youth, for it is a privilege to do what I do,” shared Gerhardt.

Jeff Creel, associate administrator and Gerhardt’s supervisor said, “Christina is a great asset to TS. She is very nurturing and is willing to walk step by step with our youth as they work toward independence.”

Friday, April 8, 2016

Spring Showcase 2016

Methodist Children’s Home (MCH) youth from both the Waco campus and Boys Ranch recently performed in the Spring Showcase. The Spring Showcase gives youth the opportunity to perform individual talents as well as segments of performances they will present at the Texas Christian Athletic Fellowship (TCAF) competition later this semester.

The Spring Showcase is an annual event put on through the MCH Recreation department. The Recreation staff work with these youth through the afterschool programs including choir, drumline and theater class. It was an evening full of fun, food and fellowship.

Ashley Kendrick, afterschool program coordinator said, “We hope that the Showcase provides an opportunity for youth to show off their hard work, while also allowing their peers who are not performing to show support and have a good time.”

Participants included:
MCH Choir – “Seasons of Love”
Justice & April “The River”
Hawa & Jordan –“ Conqueror”
Camray –Shakespeare Sonnet
Kelli & Emmy – Dance to “Fight Song”
Joe & Jarrett – “Cabo Rico”
Alfred – “Sento Nel Core”
Chris – Monologue from “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown”
Jamia – “Wanna be Happy”
Vanessa – “Oceans”
Chris – “Sanctuary”
Samuel – Monologue from “Indoor/Outdoor”
Iona – “Caro Mio Ben”
Kelli – Dance to “Because of You”
Jesse – “If I was your Man”
Jayven – Monologue from “Dogs Sees God”
Hawa – “Teach me How to be Loved”
Jamia – Monologue from “Indoor/Outdoor”

Monday, April 4, 2016

MCH Core Value Award for Christian Principles - Lyle Mason

Methodist Children’s Home (MCH) annually recognizes staff who exemplify our Core Values. Staff are nominated by their peers and recognized at an all-staff meeting.

The Core Values for MCH are:
Christian Principles
Lyle Mason, director of benefactor relations, received the 2016 Core Award for Christian Principles at the all-staff meeting in March. The recipient for 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 Mason’s nomination, “Lyle desires first and foremost the seek God’s will, in his personal life and in his role as Director of Benefactor Relations. Lyle invites God’s Spirit to move, guide and direct our team. He desires to honor God in all that we do from speaking events in churches, one-on-one donor meetings, and how we interact with one another as a team. Lyle considers it a true gift from God to represent the children in the care of MCH and by example, encourages the rest of us to keep that very thing in mind. Lyle is a servant leader. In the very way he leads, he reminds and encourages our team that we engage in Kingdom work. Lyle recognizes gifts in us and provides opportunities for us to use those gifts in our work; he inspires us to be faithful followers of Christ in all that we do.”

“I truly consider it a joy and privilege to serve the Lord through my work at MCH,” said Mason.

Trey Oakley, vice president for development and Mason’s supervisor had this to share: “Lyle is a strong leader who models his faith when interacting with staff and benefactors. People are drawn to that kind of leader. His faith is more than catchy sayings; it guides him and our team.”

Friday, April 1, 2016

Pinwheel garden at Methodist Children’s Home highlights April as Child Abuse Prevention Month

Methodist Children’s Home is bringing attention to Child Abuse Prevention during the month of April by planting a pinwheel garden at the front of the Waco campus.
The Pinwheels for Prevention® grassroots initiative was started in 2008 by Prevent Child Abuse America, a national organization whose mission is “to prevent the abuse and neglect of our nation’s children.” Every April they challenge individual communities to take a stand against child abuse and show support for local agencies that focus on the development of children and families. The pinwheel serves as the national symbol for child abuse prevention as it connotes the whimsy and childlike notions and is a reminder of the happy childhoods all children deserve.
Brooke Davilla, director of MCH Family Outreach in Waco, learned about the pinwheel initiative last year and helped to bring it to Methodist Children’s Home.
“We are a legacy organization that strives to make a positive, meaningful impact on children and families daily,” Davilla said. “However, most of our work is done in community members’ homes, homes on the Boys Ranch and Waco campus, and many foster homes across the state which is often unseen. I feel that is our responsibility to not only do quality work every day but to be a voice alongside those we serve and create opportunities for awareness about issues that are impacting our community.”
The initiative will be extended to MCH Family Outreach offices in Abilene, Albuquerque, Corpus Christi, Houston and San Antonio this year. Each office has partnered with a local organization or church to plant the pinwheels to raise awareness.
“The statistics around child abuse are staggering and need to be known,” Davilla said. “CPS investigated more than 176,868 allegations of child abuse or neglect in Texas last year. But that is not the full story. The message of HOPE is stronger. Our children are our future and as a community we can help make the future even brighter. Through our residential and community outreach programs we want to be a part of the message of hope across the state and New Mexico.”
Davilla continued, “Our children deserve a childhood that is full of joy and hope. It is our responsibility as a community to ensure that they have that opportunity. I support this national campaign because I appreciate the proactive approach to protecting children, supporting families and communities and the awareness that our children are worth it!”

Abilene outreach office's pinwheel garden is located at the
Onstead Building on the Abilene Christian University campus.

Albuquerque planted their garden at Wilson Middle School.

Corpus Christi partnered with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
for their garden located at the CASA building on Prescott St.

Houston outreach planted their pinwheels at Westminster United Methodist Church.

San Antonio's pinwheel garden was planted at Yanagua Garden at Hemisfair.