Thursday, July 28, 2011

Foster Care Toy Drive

CHS is sponsoring a toy drive to collect toys and gifts for children in foster care for Christmas. Bring any unwrapped toy for ages newborn to 18 years to the Big Sandy Superstore in Parkersburg on Saturday, August 13th between 10am and 4pm.

Every $10 donated toy earns you a chance to win 2 tickets to see the Oak Ridge Boys in concert in Huntington August 26th, 2011 at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

A $10 cash donation can be made in lieu of a toy.

For questions contact Greg Nicholson 304-485-0650

TLP Youth Receive Awards

“Your achievement reinforces the importance of creating opportunity for our youth. On behalf of Youth Advantage, Your Leadership, Guidance, and Support…has not gone unnoticed.” These words, etched on the two plaques honoring the Children’s Home Society’s Parkersburg Site, and the Transitional Living Program, as Partner’s of Excellence at the 10th Annual Youth of Excellence Awards, symbolize what the TL Program aspires to do daily for those youth participating in transitional services.

Presented by Workforce West Virginia, in conjunction with Youth Advantage, the awards were humbly accepted by TL Case Manager Lisa Doyle- Parsons on June 23, 2011, at a luncheon. More notable than the agency recognition, was the recognition and honors received by two outstanding TL youth.

Aaron Pratt, a 21 year old youth who entered the program late February this year, received a $500 Scholarship to WVU-P for the fall term; A Youth of Excellence Rising Star Award; and was elected to serve on the “A Team,” a youth advisory board for Youth Advantage. Prior to joining the TLP, Aaron, then unemployed, had spent the last several months shelter surfing, often maxing out his time before moving on to another city with another homeless shelter. Currently Aaron is doing well living in his own apartment, is employed at Workforce WV, participates in life skills training and community service activities, and is on target to attend college at WVU-P in the fall.

Twenty year old Kim Reisinger, who completed the TL Program in April 2011, was the recipient of a $100 Saving Bond, a Mid-Ohio Valley Time to Shine Award, and the Youth of Excellence Award. Kim entered the program underemployed, and unable to afford housing or transportation on her own. During the six months spent in the program, Kim located and resided in her own apartment, obtained her driver’s license, purchased a used car, enrolled in and completed CNA training, participated in life skills training, and was active in community service activities. Kim successfully exited the program in April and is currently in the process of purchasing her own home; became involved in a positive healthy relationship; upgraded her car; and is working 3 jobs while seeking employment as a CNA. The Transitional Living Program proudly acknowledges and congratulates our “Youth of Excellence,” Aaron Pratt and Kimberley Reisinger.

Posted By: Lisa Doyle-Parsons

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Happy Birthday to WE CAN Mentor Amber!

Happy Birthday to our mentor Amber Snyder—a loyal and dedicated volunteer to the WE CAN Program! Amber has been matched up with her mentee Stacy since May and they have spent their summer: miniature golfing (Stacy got FOUR holes in one!), going to the movies where they saw Kung Fu Panda 2 in 3-D and Monte Carlo, they decorated themselves with matching Justin Bieber tattoos, and even pampered themselves with manicures. Amber and Stacy also participated in our community service project last month by assembling care packages and making cards for servicemen and women stationed overseas in Iraq.

*If you would like to volunteer with the WE CAN Mentoring Program please contact: Ashley Way at Children's Home Society 304-485-0650.

Posted by: Ashley Way

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Family to Call Their Own

Children deserve a lifetime family—a family to call their own. With great thanks to Delmar and Barb McKown, Liam and Nikoli now have a family of their own and a permanent loving home. Liam and Nikoli’s adoption was finalized in Wood County on July 18, 2011. The McKowns have not only opened their home—but their hearts, and we here at Children’s Home Society are grateful for their commitment and wish them a lifetime of happiness!

If you would like to expand your family and provide a child in need with a loving and protective home please contact: Carna Metheney-White or Ken Storey at Children’s Home Society, Parkersburg, 304-485-0650.

Posted by: Ashley Way

The MTFRC Has Been a Bustling Hive of Activity!

The Summer Youth Program, operated out of our Mid Town Family Resource Center, has been abuzz with activity and laughter for its second week now! Attendance is always a surprise from one day to the next, but yesterday they served 20 youth and 14 today. Mary from the local Girl Scout Troop made a guest appearance yesterday and helped the kids with a special craft activity wherein they made their own garden stepping stones. I witnessed a lot of creativity in their projects, and it’s always a pleasure to see the final products lining the shelves throughout the room! Tomorrow they will be making a trip downtown to visit and tour the Parkersburg Arts Center!

Posted by: Ashley Way

Transitional Living Program Hosts Young Parents Class

The Transitional Living Program was pleased to host the second in a series of eight parenting classes, being held alternate Mondays at the Midtown Family Resource Center. The series of classes are stand alone, and will be taught in cycles so that new participants can join at any point. Open to males and females, the classes targets young parents, and is being instructed by Parent Educator Tisha Lambert, of Westbrook Health Services. The classes are free of charge and open to any young parent in the community. The first two classes have been well attended, and staff are excited by the feedback and participation of the youth attending. In a discussion about discipline vs punishment, new parent Samantha Young , stated “ I am so confused, I don’t want my daughter to grow up the way I did (neglected), but I don’t want her to be a spoiled brat either. The classes are intended to assist such parents in clearing up some of the confusion experienced by the young parents, and make them aware and put into practice active parenting techniques. The next class will be held August 1, at 5pm.

Posted by: Lisa Doyle-Parsons

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bridge Academy Kicks Off Their Summer Program:

An ice cream social was held Friday July 8 to kick off the Summer Pilot Program of the new Bridge Academy. Staff and volunteers were on hand to welcome parents and future students to their new facility at St. Margaret Mary Parish Hall. Sundaes and milkshakes were served to celebrate the event, and aid recruitment efforts for new students.

Bridge Academy’s Director Frances Coyne-Davis was pleased to announce that as of now they are at 2/3 of their goal for summer enrollment with 19 participants! The Program commenced yesterday and I look forward to catching a few minutes of face time with one of my new co-workers to see how it turned out! Everyone here at the Parkersburg campus is anxious to welcome this new Program aboard and be a part of the efforts to keep “at-promise” youth educated and empowered to prevent teenage pregnancy.

Posted by: Ashley Way

The Show Must Go On...

As Steve mentioned in his last post, he has signed off to take on a new role in the agency. Anyone who knows Steve personally knows that he is humble and modest; so I will boast on his behalf…Mr. Steve Tuck was recently promoted to Children's Home Society’s C.E.O.! We will certainly miss him very much here at the Parkersburg site, but we are proud of his successes and everything he has done to assist the children and families in this area throughout his many years of dedicated and loyal direct service. Now it is time for him to help children and families everywhere in WV as he takes on a more state-wide role. We are guaranteed to still see him in and around this community, as his roots still lay here in the Parkersburg area! Congratulations to Steve!

As to not disappoint his followers and fans the staff here at CHS are happy to continue to deliver you news and updates from the Parkersburg site! This will be a group effort so look forward to reading lots of diverse posts from our many devoted employees and our wide array of programming!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Changing Things Up

This will be my last post as the editor of this CHS-Parkersburg blog. Ashley will be taking over the task, as I take a statewide administrative job within CHS. I'll still maintain some "signs of life" on here, and support the on-going efforts to engage the community in our important work with area children and families. More later!

Friday, July 1, 2011

New Foster Home Recruitment Banner is up!

We have had a banner on the street side of our offices, recruiting people to be foster parents for several years, and have always had remarks that it was a good way to put the idea out there to the community. About a half year or so, the one we had up had weathered to the point we ordered a new one. Some volunteers from the Power Company hung it up on the front of the building, but within one week, a strong wind storm had brought it down again! Well, we have finally taken care of it again, thanks to our loyal handymen, Nick and Mike. I hope somebody snaps a picture of it! Anyway, we can expect some inquiry calls to come in, now that the sign is back in business!