Friday, May 27, 2011

Parents As Teachers start up

Beverly and Roberta visited another existing Parents As Teachers program this week. They came back very appreciative of the time spent by the staff at that program, and eager to get things started with their version of the program here at CHS-Parkersburg.

Frances and Tamara's adventures in Memphis

Frances and Tamara, two staff in the new Carrera teen pregnancy prevention program, traveled to Memphis for a national training with the Office of Adolescent Health. They had a good conference, but were delayed in their return, due to the flight cancellations across the midwest related to all the storms. They are intrepid travelers and come back ready to keep the momentum going on the program start up in this exciting new program for the site.

Two Nights in a Row- nice family meals

Two nights in a row we have had very nice family meals here at CHS-Parkersburg. Wednesday night the foster care staff provided a nice home cooked meal for our site's foster parents (in honor of Foster Care Month) and some fun activities for the children, while the parents socialized. Lots of good comraderie and support.
The following night, the regular monthly Mid Town Family Resource Center family night for parents of children in the McKinley After School program (and various families connected to the MTFRC over the years!) had a meal of Subway sandwiches, and lots of games! Both these events were well attended, and further emphasized the value of just getting people together around a meal and fellowship. Lots of strong ties being developed by our staff with the families we serve!!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mid Town Family Resource Center receives FRC grant from DHHR

We received the announcement last week, that our Mid Town Family Resource Center is receiving a grant from the state DHHR of $75,000, to support the work of the Center. This will begin July 1st. We are very honored and excited about this acknowledgement of our efforts to develop this comprehensive family support.

welcoming new staff

Recently we have added several staff members who we want to welcome to CHS-Parkersburg. Tamara Heys has been brought into the team for the Carrera Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program as the community organizer. She is already off to Memphis with program coordinator, Frances Coyne-Davis, for a national training with the Office of Adolescent Health. Donna Dodd joins us to provide Right From the Start services in Ritchie County.

Another Book and Vinyl Record sale coming up!

Saturday, June 4th we are holding another book and record sale, from 10 am to 2 pm here at the Mid Town Family Resource Center. We end up with a "friendly rivalry" as to whether Lisa can sell more books, or I sell more records!!! The donations have been flowing in; so we hope everyone will help spread the word!!

Staff attend Alliance for Children annual conference

Shelley, Denise and I attended the Alliance for Children conference in Wheeling this past week. This annual events always features powerful sessions on issues related to child welfare and the current dynamics. This year was no exception; the participants gain much from the presenters. This is a good opportunity to get to know some of our peers at the member agencies, and to "compare notes" about best practice and the system of care for children.

Ken Storey' graduates with an MSW

CHS-Parkersburg's Ken Storey graduated from WVU (Charleston branch) MSW program this past weekend. Contratulations to Ken for this significant accomplishment. Ken really worked hard, and took advantage of the opportunity to gain in social work practice and knowledge.

Murder Mystery Dinner Theater

The Gustke Shelter staff organized a fund raiser, using the students of Parkersburg South drama department, to have a murder mystery dinner theater. It was held this past Saturday night at the First Christian Church here in Parkersburg. There seemed to be about 120 people there, for the play, some great food, and good fellowship. A student from Parkersburg South wrote the play, and the drama teacher provided strong leadership to her students, to have a very strong performance for the evening's entertainment. She also played a part! She is the mother of Katie Whitlow, who works at the Shelter. Katie sang some 1930's vintage songs during the breaks in the acts. Audience members had to guess who committed a murder in the plot of the play. There were also silent auction items for the audience to bid on. Staff of the Shelter (and many of their family members!) as well as the students, set the room up all day Saturday; decorating and setting up the dinner settings. All the hard work paid off with a very enjoyable evening. The event raised over $2000 in cash, and a significant amount of in-kind donations. It was deemed a success by one and all, and already, plans are underway for another such event next year.

Bob Dylan Tribute

The Bob Dylan Tribute, part of the Mid Ohio Valley Americana Music Tribute Series of live music fund raising events for the CHS-Parkersburg site, was held this past Friday evening at 6 Pence Pub, Parkersburg. We had a great line up of musicians, seven acts in all, and an enthusiastic crowd. We had a couple of Bob Dylan Trivia contests throughout the evening, celebrating the music of Bob Dylan and his 50 years of performing. The event raised $850; bringing the total so far this year for the Americana Music Series to $4954. Our CHS-Parkersburg site's own Aaron Whited performed a set of spirited song selections to rave reviews. Several other long time participants also had sets, while local music "legends" Jimmy Clinton and Todd Burge performed an exquisite set. Jeremy Mayle, another local musician of note, performed a set of his favorite songwriter's work. We thank Kim at 6 Pence once again, for hosting our series events there.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

McKinley All Star Band benefit concert

Fred Shreve, and the McKinley All Star Band (made up of faculty at McKinley and other Wood County Schools employees) performed a concert last night at Jefferson Auditorium in Parkersburg, as a benefit for the After School program we operate at McKinley as part of our Mid Town Family Resource Center. Fred spoke from the heart to say we are deep partners in our work with students in the neighborhood. The music was very entertaining; including songs written by Greg Syner and Fred, throughout the first part of the show, and then some "crowd favorite" cover tunes in the second half. Fred and Greg are both excellent song writers, incorporating some funny stories and some poignant songs. The band is a solid group of musicians, all masters at their instruments. Mike Fling on drums and vocals is obviously a crowd favorite also. There were about 100 people in attendance, and we raised $730 for the Mid Town Family Resource Center. Many Wood County educators were in the audience, bringing a different sort of audience/ demographic to one of our music events, spreading the reach of our community engagement. The Jefferson Auditorium is a nice venue for such a show, with plenty of "grow room" to even bring more people in to experience such a great night of music. Thanks to Fred and his bandmates for a fun evening of music!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011