Managing and teaching in a shelter child center

Posts tagged ‘Children Youth and Family’

Not sure why I’m surprised when people do the right thing

But for some reason, I always am. So I have a lotof people to thank. As a result, this particular blog may seem like an Advertisement. its not. I am just truly grateful. SO here is an open letter

To all the Children’s Haven’s Angels, your kindness and generosity to the children in my center is amazing. I am so grateful I am speechless. I want to make sure that I thank you all.
First to our A. Nony Mouse angel that donated cash and kept our lights on last month. It was too much. I don’t even know who to thank. (Although I have an idea.) Putting that on the card was cute, buy the way!

Gladstone market, thanks for the rice, beans, tomatoes and kale! We had real food every day for two whole weeks! The kids are doing much better after having fruit and veggies instead of cake and not sure what all else.

Old Navy, Thanks for the uniforms for the older kids, and fall/winter outfits for the younger ones, infants and parents.

All u named stores that supplied back packs, school supplies. tech gadgets and toys, thank you, too. There were I believe over 100 of you and I don’t have the complete list.

Payless Shoes, thanks for the shoes, socks, hair things and jewelry.

University of the pacific school of dentistry, thanks for the dental work. The kids may not be thrilled about it now, but they will thank you later. =)
All of you have worked miracles for over 400 homeless kids and their families. I can never thank you enough

(Overwhelmed by your generosity) Teacher Turtle
!!!

Grass-An infant’s experience

Okay. Sometimes it really is the simple things that can be the most interesting.sometimes when we go on our picnic days a lot of bigger school kids had the same idea. So I have to keep the infants and younger toddlers on the grass so they won’t get trampled by the older kids. dogs, however, well…. that’s a whole other blog!

Anyway, I’ve written before about the varies ways infants handle their first  (or at least first for a while) grass experiences. Some love it, some hate it, some don’t give it a second thought, and some consider it part of their lunch. But today I’m going to talk about just one child and her grass experience.

Karla(name changed to protect the innocent) has never come out with us before. She is one of the children I worry about. So limp and floppy and unengaged with everything. One of those children that has no light in their eyes at all, and I wonder what horror she might be seeing instead of what is really in front of her. She had to come with usthat day, because the only other care giver she reacts to at all was out sick.

I sat with her flopped in my lap while we watched other kids playing with toys on the blanket we had brought. I saw that she was really watching too. and she was tracking the two other children her age who were rolling balls on the grass. So I got an idea. Maybe she would connect with the grass. I picked a couple of blades and held them for her to look at, explaining grass as best I could. (With infants, you learn to describe all kinds of things you take for granted) I brushed it lightly in her hand,expecting her to scream. She didn’t. She reached for it.

So then I took off her socks and let her brush her feet against it. Not pushing down,or forcing her to stand on it. She put one foot down, pulled it up, looked at me,and did the same thing again. Over and over. If we were having a conversation, it may have been something like this: Karla”I don’t know about this.”

Me”It’s okay. go ahead”

Karla(pulling toes back in)”nope”

Me” go ahead.”

Karla “are you sure about this?”

I think she wanted to make sure that I was there. That I didn’t mind it and that I wasn’t going to let anything happen to her if she changed her mind and wanted off. Eventually she did put both feet down for about three seconds. And she smiled for the first time that I’ve seen in the three months we’ve worked together.

  • Picnick days (littleshelterpreschoolthatcan.wordpress.com)

The welcome letter of our parent handbook (numbers/most names/contact info changed)

This is a copy of my welcome letter to the parents. I’m working on it still.

Welcome,

We are excited to work with you and your child at the Elk Center. We hope that your child considers this a safe place to learn and grow.

We know how difficult and frightening being in transition can be.  We want to make this time as easy for you as possible. Please let us know what you need to make yourself and your child more comfortable and self-sufficient. If we can’t help, we probably know who can. We provide an on-site Nurse-practitioner, case management, lists of where to get low cost and free food and clothing, a stroller rental program and many other resources.

Many members of our staff are also residents or have been homeless themselves. We are willing to share what we have learned to help you out. We are also CPR and Pediatric First aid Certified and 90% of us hold permits for associate teacher or higher. The other 10% are currently in school, working toward degrees and/or certification.

At the Elk, your children will have a safe place to play and explore and a caring staff that will provide whatever they need to achieve. Hopefully they also will find a sense of stability and feel like part of a community.

Our major goal is to provide stability and safety for your child while giving them a place to learn. Please let us know what we can to help out. Your ideas are always welcome.

Turtle Travers-Brown

Activity Coordinator/family services case manager

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