Archive for June, 2016

Snakes and turtles and lizards oh my!

June 30th, 2016 by Jenna Riedi

While no one was shouting, ‘there’s a snake in my boot!’ on Friday afternoon, there were a lot of snakes, and boots, in the BGCLC Fort Collins Club gym. As a special treat to club members who participated in Brain Gain, The Colorado Herpetological Society paid a visit to the club to provide some real-life, hands on learning. CHS was formed in 1972 as a way to promote knowledge in both herpetology and herpetoculture, as well as a way to encourage the conservation and appreciation for all reptiles and amphibians. CHS is also a non profit organization.

Along with some in-depth knowledge, the volunteers of CHS brought with them lizards, snakes and turtles of all sizes. One turtle even suited up for the occasion.

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A special shout-out to CHS and Charles, Academic Program Specialist, at the Fort Collins Club for making this special, informative and fun event possible!

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An unexpected start for Academic Success

June 23rd, 2016 by Jenna Riedi

Poop.Amadeo

Yes, you read that right. Poop.

Poop is what inspires this installment of one club member from Fort Collins achieving Academic Success. This gross and taboo word has everything to do with how Charles, Academic Program Specialist, from the Fort Collins Club was able to get one of the least academically-enthused Members to come in and start doing his homework during Power Hour.

At the Fort Collins Club, the major focus within the Academic Success Outcome is participation in Power Hour. An overwhelming majority of the parents have expressed enthusiasm for the Power Hour program and getting Members to do their homework. Charles commented that it warms his heart greatly to see the kids that consistently come in to get work done. However, we all know that it's the kids that DON'T do their work that really need attention. That, indeed, is where we earn our money. The trick to helping those members that don’t want to do their work is finding the one thing that flips the switch for each individual. For some, it's the recognition and prizes provided for Power Hour attendance. For others, it's a phone call to home or school. For Amadeo Lopez, it was poop.

Located in Charles’s room is a book titled, "The Truth About Poop,” by Susan G. Goodman. One day, the fearless Fort Collins Club leader, Brian, thought it would be hilarious to display the book in Charles's window for everyone to see. Well, one day, Amadeo saw the book, and of course, he wanted to read it. Charles had hoped it would trigger a desire for him to come into the Learning Lab more often. And what do you know, that's exactly what happened. He came into the room many, many times just to read that book (did we mention the cover art is of an elephant on the toilet doing his business?).

In regards to Power Hour, Amadeo's parents had signed him and his sister up several months ago. However, getting Amadeo to come in and work was an enormous task. This book--this freakin' book--is what greased the wheels and showed him that the Learning Lab is a fun place where he can get his homework done (and, yes, read about poop). Granted, this was a slow transition; Charles may have had to chase Amadeo down a few times. But, once he started agreeing to come in, it became easier. He won Academic Success Youth of the Week for his efforts. And now, he's coming in ON HIS OWN to do his reading (and not just the poop book!). He's reading his required 20 pages per day. The books aren't always at his level, and there are still times where he "doesn't have homework,” but it's great progress for someone who flat out refused to come in a few months prior. With some kids, it's just a slow build, and that's okay. Being able to provide opportunity for Amadeo is great, but more importantly, he's growing as a human being.


Soon enough, Charles will be able to say that #2 is what helped Amadeo make education his #1.

 

Meet Nancy Haboush, BGCLC Board Member

June 16th, 2016 by Jenna Riedi

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Nancy may have grown up in a small-town in Iowa, but she always felt a strong pull to see what a bigger city had to offer. When she was just 18, she ventured west and planted her roots in the old town of Fort Collins. After 30 years in the world of retail outfitting men in tuxedos and other fashionables, she decided to venture out on her own and become a business coach to CEO’s with Vistage International. Her love of inspiring people to be the best versions of themselves is what has kept her going for the past two years. Read more to find out how Nancy found herself on the board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County.

  1.    Why did you join the Boys & Girls Clubs Board?

In a name? Kathi Wright...she is a sly one. I was invited to participate in judging the Youth of the Year in 2014 – hearing the stories and witnessing the poise, the grace and the vulnerability of three incredible young people – inspired me so much, I just had to be a part of it in a deeper way!

  1.  What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Boys & Girls Clubs?  

Witnessing the amazing commitment, ethics and passion that the staff demonstrates each and every day to make a difference in the lives of the kids they serve; what a talented and committed group of people! They inspire everyone around them and it’s such an honor and a privilege to work with the staff and board. Obviously, getting to see the culmination of those efforts in the clubs and at the events firsthand makes my heart sing as well – but I am a firm believer that the mission is futile without the amazing work of the people serving – so my FAVORITE thing is the team at the Boys & Girls Club.

  1.    What is your ideal vacation?

Anywhere with ocean and sand, a great book and my friends and/or family. The peace and solitude of a clear schedule and NOTHING planned…that’s ideal.

  1. If you were trapped on an desert island, what three things would you bring with you?

An endless supply of Jameson; my hysterical daughter Mackenzie (she’s a deputy sheriff, so for protection and fun); and a rowboat for when I’m ready to leave...I hate being trapped!

Summer 2016 Boys & Girls Clubs Training

June 9th, 2016 by Jenna Riedi

Watch out summer, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County full-time and part-time staff are trained and ready! During the last week of May, BGC staff underwent a week of staff programming and safety training in preparation for the 2016 summer sessions. On Tuesday, May 31st, staff kicked-off training by learning about the importance and necessity of mental health first aid when dealing with children, teens and young adults.

Staff also went through a two-day lesson on Poudre School District’s school shooter training. After several school shootings within the last few years, this training was critical for all staff to understand that in today’s society, sometimes we are the front line when violence occurs. Topics covered included an active shooter scenario, bomb threat scenario and hands-on wound care workshop. More information on the shooter training can be found here. This shooter training was taught in conjunction with CPR and First Aid Training.

Staff, both full-time and part-time, got to break-out and mingle during the greater part of Thursday, June 2, while participating in in-service training at the Boys & Girls Club Fort Collins location. The all-day training included an all-staff, mandatory reporting training hosted by the Child Advocacy Center. Items discussed included recognizing signs of child abuse and neglect, and also what to do if you suspect abuse. This session was followed by four breakout sessions designed to get staff involved and immersed in Boys & Girls Clubs tailored activities. Break-out sessions included High Yield Learning Activities led by Brian Johnson; STEAM Programming led by Rachel Messersmith; On The Spot Fun led by TJ Daya; and Engaging Youth in Targeted Programming led by Andy Abbott.

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Even with all the training and learning happening, the staff managed to squeeze out some fun. It can’t be all work and no play after all.

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Three more sessions wrapped up the day, including Safety Scenarios and BGCLC Safety Protocol led by Kaycee Headrick, which examined safety protocols and safety scenarios; Nonviolent Communication led by Rob Klein, in which attendees were taught techniques around nonviolent communication when working with youth and de-escalation strategies; and finally, Planning for Programming 101 led by TJ Daya and Ashley Prow, which covered the basics of planning and preparing for Club activities as well as addressing how to see, and fill, a need in the Club environment.

No training is just a week long event, it is continually on-going and always needed. Let’s keep safe, keep trained, and work on making this the best summer yet!