Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Daniels Home welcomes visitors

Dr. Jack Kyle Daniels tells stories about his time at MCH
to the girls at the new Daniels Home.
The construction is complete, the furniture is in place, and the students and staff are now settled into their new home. On Aug. 15, the residents and staff of the Dr. Jack Kyle and Evelyn Daniels Home held an open house to introduce their new house to other MCH staff and students. Visitors toured the rooms and enjoyed refreshments as they experienced the new layout design.

“The open house at the new Daniels Home was an amazing experience,” said Charlsie Whitney, Waco campus administrator. “I, personally, was so moved by the positive responses of the staff and youth who visited during the occasion. I am also very proud of the ownership that the residents have taken of their new home. I think it has exceeded all of our expectations, and we are very grateful for every person who made it possible.”
The Daniels Home is the first component of a broader capital campaign in which state-of-the-art homes will be built to better meet the needs of the youth served by MCH. The new home incorporates design elements to encourage more interaction while also providing added feelings of safety for residents as well as apartments for home parents. Bethany Parrott, unit manager for the Daniels Home, said her staff and residents are enjoying the new design.

“We love living in the new Daniels Home!” said Parrott. “It’s given the girls and the staff an environment that feels more like home. The girls have enjoyed decorating their rooms and having their own space. The open concept has allowed for us to spend more time together playing cards at the dinner table or having conversations around the kitchen bar. We are very happy to live in this new home.”

On Wednesday, Aug. 17, the home’s namesake, Dr. Jack Kyle and Evelyn Daniels, visited the Waco campus bringing along their daughter Lyn, her husband Mike and son Cole. After touring the Visitors Center at the Perkins Heritage Home, the family went to see the Daniels Home. It was the first time their daughter had seen the home and the first time Dr. and Mrs. Daniels had seen the home fully furnished.

“We were delighted with the furnishings and the bright colors which make a very comfortable home,” Dr. Daniels said. “We had a good time visiting with the residents and the home parents and learning a bit about the girls’ experiences at MCH.

“We are still overwhelmed with the honor of having the building named for us and welcomed a glimpse of the benefits that will come to the present and future residents of the Daniels Home,” he added. “We pray daily for MCH and have hearts full of gratitude for our lifetime relationship with so great a ministry.”

Staff welcomed visitors during the Open House for the Daniels Home.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Back to School at MCHS

Methodist Children’s Home School (MCHS), a charter school operated in partnership with the University of Texas-University Charter School, began its 13th year on the Waco campus on August 18. Staff will welcome sixth through 12th graders from the Waco campus, Boys Ranch and from the community as part of the Day School program.

This year, classes will shift from block scheduling to seven class periods. Also, physical education will now be offered during the school day instead of during after school programming. Teachers all received new desks and furniture over the summer. Six new staff members will join the campus with several other staff receiving promotions. Cristy Cunningham, former principal, will now oversee two UT-UCS campuses, MCHS and Cedar Crest (Belton, Tex.) and become the executive principal. Michelle Arocha will move from assistant principal to associate principal while Samantha Dove will transition from instructional coach to school liaison. Michelle Whitehead joins the MCHS staff as assistant principal.

All school staff attended a two-day training on Trust-Based Relational Intervention, a model of care for children who have experienced some type of trauma developed by the Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University. They also listened to a presentation by Christian Moore, author of the book Resilience Breakthrough.

“Resilience is the key focus this year,” Cunningham said. “Resilience has been defined as the ineffable quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever. Rather than letting failure overcome them and drain their resolve, they find a way to rise from the ashes.”

MCH wishes our students much success during this coming school year!

Monday, August 8, 2016

MCH Family Outreach in Waco partners with Advocacy Center

Just in time for heading back to school, children of MCH Family Outreach families learned about bullying and healthy boundaries thanks to a partnership with The Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children in Waco. On July 22 and 28, representatives of the Advocacy Center, Sarah Hopping and Aleigh Ascherl, led an educational and interactive presentation at the Waco office.

“As an outreach office collaborations are important to us and we work diligently to create strategic partnerships that benefit the families we serve,” said Brooke Davilla, director of MCH Family Outreach in Waco. “We previously had the Advocacy Center come to one of our Grandparents As Parents Program support groups to provide psychoeducation to our grandparents. In return, the Advocacy Center asked if we would be interested in a group specifically geared towards our children.”

Davilla said the Advocacy Center hosted groups last year to connect children and their caregivers and received positive feedback so they were excited about having them back this summer. She explained that during the summer months, they like to break from the traditional support group model to offer interactive groups for parents and children. Along with the presentations, they have also met at splash pads at the park as well as hosted a family day at Hawaiian Falls water park.

“We were interested in offering these groups to our families for several reasons,” she said. “One reason is that the summer months can be stressful for both kids and caregivers. We wanted to give families something fun to look forward to and something for them to do together. Additionally, families are often concerned about their children keeping appropriate boundaries as well as bullying. We felt like an interactive group could be a good way to start talking about these topics in a safe and playful way.”

Sara Beth Stoltzfus, case manager for MCH Family Outreach in Waco, said many of her families had expressed a lot of interest in the topics of boundaries and bullying. During the presentations, the children participated in activities using props such as balloons, hula hoops and colors to learn about safe touch, empathy, using your voice, encouraging diversity and showing respect and teamwork.

“We heard so many of the children sharing reflective comments about bullying or being bullied and how they should treat their friends and peers,” Stoltzfus said. “Our presenters did a great job at creating an environment for all children to participate. Even our shy ones were able to be silly and speak up confidently!”

Sarah Hopping from the Advocacy Center

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

U.M. ARMY 2016

Several youth from Methodist Children’s Home (MCH) spent a week serving others in Bryan, Texas. Each summer, MCH partners with Kingwood UMC and United Methodist Action Reach-Out Mission by Youth (UMArmy) for hands-on mission projects.

UMArmy holds work camps with youth and adult volunteers. Work camps provide much-needed home repair assistance for people in need.  FUMC Bryan hosted the youth for the camp, which was themed “True Identity.”

“The focus was helping all of us to take a look at how our identity in Jesus impacts the actions in our lives, and in the lives that we touch,” said Ron Britton, MCH discipleship minister. “I think our youth saw what a difference they can make in the lives of others and in the world.”

MCH youth pushed through long hot days at three different locations to build a wheelchair ramp, an awning and a deck for their clients.

“The highlight this year was Client Night, where we eat and worship with the clients that we have been with all week,” said Britton. “One client was so moved by the service and the youth’s willingness to help others that he broke out and sang a hymn a capella. He said he was encouraged to see youth who loved Christ and were living out their faith.”

Noah, who lives at the Boys Ranch had this to share: “I enjoyed the prayer walks and having an opportunity to help others in need. I felt I grew spiritually because there was no judgment from others on how you worshipped and everyone accepted others as they were.”