Posts Tagged ‘Fort Collins’

Rock Outside with Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County!

April 20th, 2017 by Laura Smith

Hey Fort Collins!

OK, now that we have your attention we have a fun scavenger hunt for you! Thanks to the creative mind of our Arts Program Specialist at the Fort Collins Unit, dozens of painted rocks have been hidden all over Fort Collins. We need YOUR help in finding these adorable rocks. If you spot one while hiking, running, biking, taking a stroll, grabbing some ice cream, etc...make sure to post a picture of you (and the rock!) to our Facebook page.

Please rehide the rocks after you've taken your silly photos so others can rock(out) as well.

We're all about free fun here at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County, and what is more fun that #optingoutside and finding painted rocks?!

Now go hunt, we'll see you out there.

 

Meet the Staff: Marla!

March 23rd, 2017 by Laura Smith

 

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Marla has been working at the Fort Collins Club for over a year as the Arts Program Specialist! Marla is known for her fun art programs, up-beat attitude and awesome hair. This year, Marla sparked a partnership with the Fort Collins Children's Theater, expanding performing art opportunities for Club members. Read below to learn more about Marla.

What is your favorite food?

My favorite food is comfort food: stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy. Yum! In fact, if Wyatt (my son) was named after what I craved the most while I was pregnant, his name would be mashed potatoes and gravy!

What is your ideal vacation?

Camping under the stars near any sort of water, with pillows and blankets, lanterns, a fire, a camper pie iron, with my family and good friends.

If you were trapped on a deserted island, what three things would you bring?

My knife, my mermaid tail, and a camper pie iron.

What is a unique talent that you have?

I can curl my tongue into a four leaf clover

What do you enjoy most about working at the Boys & Girls Club?

I love working with different community members and organizations that we work with and I love working with every single person at the Club everyday, we are family, which is why they call me mom!

Pizza Hut: The Literacy Project Benefits BGCLC

March 10th, 2017 by Laura Smith

Great companies doing great things is what makes this world go round. A prime example of that is Pizza Hut's Literacy Project, in which the company commits to literacy and reading. Through this initiative, Pizza Hut raised over $4,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County.

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During this project, Pizza Hut engaged customers and team members through a coordinated fundraising campaign that took place from September to November. The campaign aimed to enable access to literacy resources, empower teachers and inspire readers in the community it serves.

As a part of this fundraiser, Pizza Hut teamed up with First Bank, a recognized nonprofit, social sector leader in supporting equal access to education by providing new books and education resources to schools and programs that serve children.

The funds raised by Pizza Hut provide credits to the First Bank Marketplace. These credits allow purchasing power to educators to select from thousands of books and educational resources at a discounted cost.

Thank you so much to both companies for giving back and helping us give the children we serve a GREAT FUTURE!

Holiday Service Challenges!

January 12th, 2017 by Laura Smith

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The holidays may technically be over, but that doesn't mean the spirit of the holidays has to fade (or the tree has to come down). We're still channeling the holiday cheer here at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County and hope you'll join us!
During the holiday season, each Unit was asked to participate in a Service Challenge as a part of one of our core priority outcomes: Good Character & Leadership. Read on to find out what our Units did for the community this season!
Fort Collins Unit 
This year, the Fort Collins Unit made personalized ornaments for the occupants at The Remington House affiliated with The Jacob Center. The Jacob Center was founded in 1988 by three social workers. The name Jacob is typically associated with healing and also refers to an ancient surveying instrument (Jacob Staff) that helps people get their bearings. The Jacob Center focuses on working with youth, families and the community to inspire positive, long-lasting change. A part of that, the Remington House, services a range of behavioral and emotional issues, including abuse, family relational issues, trauma issues and substance abuse. To help boost spirits, Club Members of the SMART (skills mastery and resistance training) Moves program made ornaments and then educated other Club Members about The Jacob Center and how it correlates with the lessons provided in SMART Moves.
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Loveland Units 
Following along with their summer service challenge (commUNITY), the Loveland Unit collected an assortment of clothes that they donated to Homeless Gear. They are hoping to follow up commUNITY part two by hosting the Loveland Police Department at the Club Unit for another activity.
Wellington Unit 
 This year, the Torch Club (a chartered leadership and service club for boys and girls ages 11 to 13) hosted a coat drive! Club Members were able to donate 50 coats to Zion Lutheran who gave the coats to Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The Torch Club made posters and asked community members to donate coats.
Great work to all our Club Members for their selfless work this holiday season!

Volunteer of the Month: Avrial!

January 5th, 2017 by Laura Smith
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Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County wouldn't be such a success without our awesome volunteers who help in the Clubs, at events and anything and everything else we can think of. To show appreciation to our volunteers, we introduce a new blog series: Volunteer of the Month. If you're a volunteer with BGCLC and would like to be featured, reach out to Megan, our volunteer coordinator, at volunteer@bgclarimer.org!
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(Avrial is pictured in the center)
Avrial (Turner), a music education student at Colorado State University, is currently running a music education program at the Fort Collins Unit! While she has many musical talents, she specializes in piano and singing.
What makes Avrial so unique (in just one way that is), is that Avrial was born deaf. Instead of cochlear implants, Avrial's family opted to utilize music therapy as a means to engage and develop her auditory and speech functions. Growing up, music became an intense passion for Avrial and easily integrated into every aspect of her life.
During her time at the Fort Collins Unit, Avrial works with Club Members to develop musicianship using the Orff Method. This method, developed by German composer Carl Orff, combines music, movement, drama and speech in a way similar to children's play. She hopes to develop music pieces for Members to perform at Club events as well as develop a partnership between Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County and the CSU School of Music.
Post graduation, Avrial hopes to inspire children through music education (in a K-12 setting) and incorporate music therapy into her teachings. She keeps that goal at the forefront of her mind by keeping busy volunteering at the Club and also performing regularly with an accompanist group at events across Fort Collins.
Thank you so much for volunteering with us Avrial and for being such an inspiration to our Club Kids!

Meet the staff: Charles Pratt IV

September 22nd, 2016 by Laura Smith

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Most famously known for his work, creating and hosting, "The Charles Show," Charles Pratt IV has been making learning fun for the past year as the Academic Program Specialist for the Fort Collins Unit. Starting Monday, Charles will leading our Harmony Village Outreach Site! Staff and youth agree that Charles's dedication and charisma make him a great fit for BGC life. Read below to learn more about Charles.

What is your favorite food?
When I can't get my hands on chocolate-covered crickets, my favorite food is definitely pizza. I would probably eat it every day if I could (Domino's pan pizza FTW).
What is your ideal vacation?
My ideal vacation would be to travel around the US and see all the monuments (super touristy, I know). Mount Rushmore is on the top of that list!
If you were trapped on a deserted island, what three things would you bring?
I would take my girlfriend Sam (cue the "Awwww" from the crowd), a soccer ball, and a copy of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged (I swear I keep meaning to finish it, perhaps being stranded on an island would do the trick).
What is a unique talent that you have?
Not a talent per se, but a fun fact is that I used to work as a kids' party entertainer. I got to be Spider-man, Darth Vader, Iron Man, and others. I even hosted a Justin Bieber party (Really). The coolest thing was dancing with kids as DJ Lance Rock from Yo Gabba Gabba. The weirdest thing was a woman at a party asking for my phone number when I was Iron Man.
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BGCLC Teens Gear Up for #MyEmptyPlate Challenge

September 1st, 2016 by Laura Smith

September is Hunger Action Month, and in honor and support of that, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County has teamed up with the Food Bank for Larimer County in support of their #myemptyplate challenge. During the week leading up to Sept. 1, Food Bank employees came to the Boys & Girls Clubs to educate our teen members about the importance of Hunger Action Month, and what they could do to spread awareness in order to support their cause.

Teen members were given empty plates and also given a sort of incentive challenge: whatever clubhouse uploads the most creative photo with their empty plate will win a party! To check out photos club members upload, browse #myemptyplate on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

To learn more about the challenge and Hunger Action Month, visit the Food Bank for Larimer Counties website.

Don't forget to wear orange Sept. 8, upload your own photos and take action!

 

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

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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.

 

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!