Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mr. Apgar makes a return!

John Apgar is again working with some youth from the Gustke Shelter in the role of a homebound instructor. We were very excited to have Mr. Apgar, once again, "working his magic" with some students who have very challenging situations and educational needs. This homebound teacher role is temporary, and individualized to the student's situation, but John has such a talent and way with helping youth in whatever way is valuable, to have a meaningful and impacting presence. This all came up very quickly this week, but already one can see the powerful impact he has on youth.

continued support of the McDonough Foundation

We received notification this week that the McDonough Foundation, here in Parkersburg, is supporting our neighborhood work with another significant grant. This will solidify our VISTA project, our First Book campaign, and the Mid Town Family Resource Center's overall mission. Lisa sent some pictures of activities of the Mid Town FRC to Bob Stephens at the McDonough Foundation, and he was pleased to see the impact their support gives.

Two of our early childhood staff venture off to North Carolina

Beverly and Roberta head out this weekend for a week of training on the Parents As Teachers model of home visiting. Their interest and commitment to adding this exciting program component to our site's early childhood mix is exciting to us. They will become trained in the PAT model, and thus be able to incorporate it into their work in the community with young families to strengthen those families, alleviate risk factors for abuse and neglect, and assist with positive, healthy starts for the children.

Big Thank You to our friends at Parkersburg Bike Shop

Long time agency friends, Ashlie and Jonny Nutter, work at Parkersburg Bike Shop. They are in the process of providing some donated bikes to the agency, and our various youth programs, that come in as trade-ins, or are bikes that Jonny (the repair mechanic!) puts some loving care into. Already he has brought several bikes over, and one has gone out with a youth in the TLP program, as a very appreciated and critical mode of transportation! These great loyal supporters of CHS-Parkersburg are truly appreciated, and a good example of our deep community engagement.

welcome to Aaron Whited

We welcome Aaron Whited as a new clerk in the Right From the Start Lead Agency program at our CHS-Parkersburg site. Aaron is "learning the ropes" from Brooke, and getting to know all the staff and programs at the site. We hope everyone will make him feel welcome and part of all the exciting things that go on at CHS-Parkersburg. Aaron has been a frequent contributor to our Americana Music Tribute Series with his excellent musical performance skills!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Winner of the NEW Chili category at this year's Cajun Cookoff and Hank Williams Tribute

Terry Beardsley is the proud winner of the chili category!!!

we have a winner : at the Cajun cookoff!!!!

Joe Peyton walked away with the prize for the best Cajun dish for the third year in a row.

Monday, March 21, 2011

PALS screening report

CHS employees participated at the annual PALS screening held at WVUP on 3/18. The CHS display landed prime real estate off to the left of the front entrance and beside the hall way where exiting families would walk right beside the display. We gave away many pencils, footballs, and frisbees with the CHS logo but more important it gave us a chance to provide vital info to families. Mary Christian ,Regional Care Coordinator for Right From The Start was there to promote the RFTS program ; Barb Lott was there to register families for CHIPS and let families know that they can utilize CHS for their financial DHHR reviews, many were very interested in this service . Vickie Taylor worked in the Developmental Screening room for 0 - 35 months along with other Birth to Three staff, which B23 took about 8 referrrals.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Cajun Cookoff and Hank Williams Tribute

The foster care program of the CHS-Parkersburg site is hosting a fund raising event at 6 Pence Pub this coming Saturday night. We have been holding a Hank Williams Tribute for several years, and 2 years ago, we decided (in honor of Hank's song Jambalaya) to add a Cajun Cookoff to the festivities. This year we added chili to the cookoff, for those who might be intimidated by Cajun cuisine. We have up to 14 participants this year, so those who attend can expect a great mix of foods for their palates. See Missy Storey or folks in the foster care unit for details. The eating starts at 6 pm on 7th St. in Parkersburg. At 9 pm Lisa and Jerry Queen and their Neon Moon band will kick us off with some Hank Williams songs.

Partners in Prevention team meeting

Monday will be a meeting of the local Partners in Prevention team which supports our local project of Child Abuse Prevention. April being Child Abuse Prevention month, Lisa has several activities planned, and its a good vantage point for the team to hear updates and offer input into our PIP work in the Wood County community.

Advisory Council "retreat" this coming week

Barbara Fish and Sue Moore have initiated a "getting acquainted" and orientation session for the Advisory Council of the CHS-Parkersburg site for this coming Wednesday at "Our Community's Foundation" new offices near City Park. Barbara is spearheading this session, and we are excited to see the ground work being laid for a solid and impacting Advisory Council with the agency's new governance model, and emphasis on the importance of a strong Advisory Council.

we welcome a new staff member

Aaron Whited began work this week as a new clerk/ administrative assistant in the RFTS Lead Agency this week. He joins Brooke Chambers in her duties of clerk in the Right From the Start program. Please make him welcome as he "learns the ropes" of our bustling and busy site!!! You can expect that he might be the one answering the phones sometimes, and learning about all the different programs and services offered at the site.

Henry Logan Children's Home Board meets at our offices

We were very proud to host the Board of the Henry Logan Children's Home for their monthly board meeting here on Wednesday. They try to get out to some of the on-going grantees in the community's locations for their meetings. They were presented with a thorough presentation on the work and mission of CHS-Parkersburg, and the particular links with the legacy of the Henry Logan Home. They seemed very satisfied and impressed with the work of CHS-Parkersburg, and we could expect strong consideration of future grant applications from them, as we further our work, and local community engagement and support.

PALS screening

A community wide comprehensive health screening process here in Wood County for pre-k and young children was held Friday at WVU-P. A number of our early childhood staff were participating in this important effort.

Family Night

This month's family night brought a very powerful example of the work we try to do to help families in the neighborhood, alleviate stressors, and strengthen families with natural help from their neighbors. A single parent mom with three school age children, was lamenting the stress she feels, having to go to work before the kids get off for school, and how sometimes this leads to them being late for school. She was feeling so stressed about this, she considered quitting work. Another neighborhood parent, who she was just meeting this night at Family Night, but whose kids know each other, offered to pick up the kids for school, as she regularly takes her daughter to school and it wouldn't be an inconvenience to pick them up. The look of relief and appreciation on the mother's face, was enough to make us feel we can make an impact on the lives of the neighborhood family, simply by the act of bringing them together for a meal and family night. A survey questionnaire that Lisa had prepared, was the catalyst for this great connection.

Troubadours of Divine Bliss coffee house

We had a very nice coffee house last night at the Mid Town Family Resource Center. A folk female duo from Kentucky performed for us, the Troubadours of Divine Bliss. They were very personable performers and could quickly connect to our work and mission here in the neighborhood and with area children and families. Their original songs were poignant and rich lyrically, and their harmonies and music were stunning. The audience was entranced and very appreciated of the quality of music they experienced. We raised over $300 for the VISTA projects in the evening. And a lucky winner of two tickets to see John Prine in Ashland Kentucky was announced during the evening. These coffee houses are getting rave reviews from community folks. The next one coming up is April 12th, Mark Stuart and Stacey Earle return for their 4th visit to Parkersburg. More details forthcoming.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

efforts to sustain the Mid Town Family Resource Center's work and vision and mission

We have submitted a number of grant applications and letters of inquiry lately to sustain the on-going support of the Mid Town Family Resource Center. One, a state Department of Health and Human Resources (Bureau of Children and Families) grant, seems particularly tailored to support the vision of the MTFRC. We are very hopeful of this grant. A number of others are national corporate or foundations, which we hope will gain notice because of our "track record" and vision, and the need to diversify funding sources for our comprehensive family support work.

a very successful coffee house at the Mid Town Family Resource Center

50 people "packed" into the MTFRC for a coffee house last night featuring Will Kimbrough, an accomplished singer songwriter, instrumentalist, producer, from Nashville Tennessee. The audience was mesmerized by his guitar playing and story telling, for a very enjoyable evening of music. He played two long sets, seeming to really enjoy the setting and audience, going far beyond what would be expected. Several of the audience members were new to our coffee house setting, and several indicated enthusiasm for supporting the work of CHS-Parkersburg, beyond enjoying and appreciating that we bring such good music to town.