Friday, February 24, 2012

Latham Hosts Reclaiming Youth International

Latham continued to advance its Circle of Courage implementation plan through a two day training this week. Thanks to a grant from the Tower Foundation, this was the first of three trainings that will take place over 2012. Twenty seven staff, from a variety of different shifts and positions, attended the training.
Mark Freado, President of Reclaiming Youth International, personally came to Latham’s Brewster campus to conduct the training. He focused on ways that Latham specifically can be better based on the values of Belonging, Independence, Mastery and Generosity. The Circle of Courage, based on these four values looks to help people respond to needs rather than react to problems.
Although the program has made significant progress in implementing these concepts, this formal training was a tremendous success. Staff were enthused by the content and inspired by the message. Mr. Freado, after spending two days getting to know Latham, stated that he believed with continued progress we could serve as a model for other programs across the world.

Mr. Freado will be returning to campus this summer and then again in the fall.

Contributed by:
Tim Vaughan
Residential Director

"Wisdom is ofttimes nearer when we stoop than when we soar." 
~William Wordsworth

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Any Given February Morning

Any given February morning, I tilt my head to the sky, inhale and hope for the faintest smell of Spring.  Then, reality rears its frosty face, I tighten my coat, pull down my hat and accept that Winter is still very much here.  Ok, maybe the falling snow continues to be stubborn, but here at Latham Centers, that doesn’t stop anyone.  It seems when our staff and kids put their heads together, the options are unlimited.
Teamwork and belonging is a continuing focus for everyone at Latham Centers and we are not shy of students who are eager to participate in our Special Olympics basketball team and bowling team.  Though the temperatures may be dipping below freezing, there is always warmth on our hearts when one of our students stands proud with their accomplishments in either event. 
This time of year, many kids dream of huge jolly snowmen and sledding down their favorite slopes.  So far, Mother Nature has not fulfilled these dreams, but our resilient kids and staff greet each day seeing opportunity for a crisp hike through the woods, a sporting game of kickball and even enjoying the solitude of our beautiful Cape Cod beaches. 
Submitted by
Roger Boucher
Residential Supervisor

"Surely as cometh the Winter, I know
There are Spring violets under the snow."
-  R. H. Newell

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Special Olympics Basketball Games a Success

Here are a few pictures from the Special Olympics basketball games on Saturday.  It was a fun day. The kids did a great job and showed great teamwork on the court.  I think everyone each got a basket, too.  I want to acknowledge the teamwork of the staff;  Heather, Carol, Jeremiah, Brandon, Kalyn, and Hal.  Kalyn and Hal were so helpful in the morning in getting us going. Barbara ( in the kitchen) had everything ready to go on time. Jillian and Kristen B. showed up to cheer us on and lend an extra hand. It really was a great day overall and we're so proud of the Hawks!

Contributed by:
Frannie Quirk

"Chase down your passion like it's the last bus of the night." 
~Terri Guillemets

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Kids Get Treated to a Restaurant Night

All the students enjoyed a Valentine themed restaurant night. With senior administrators, clinicians and supervisors acting as waitstaff, a three meal course was delivered to the kids in two separate sittings. It was the adults chance to pamper the students a bit and allow them a relaxed evening “out”. The evening was a huge success as seen by the faces in the pictures below. Latham has the greatest staff serving the greatest group of kids in the world.

Contributed by:
Tim Vaughan
Residential Director

"A man is not where he lives, but where he loves." 
~Latin Proverb

(See more images from Restaurant Night on our Facebook Page HERE!)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Latham Participates in Special Olympics Bowling Tournament

Latham students recently participated in a tournament for Special Olympics bowling at Ryan Family Amusements in Yarmouth.  The students have been working hard practicing and adjusting to the new rules required for the tournament. They have shown a lot of patience and teamwork, and I am proud to say they rose to the occasion.

The students were able to play with another SOMA group from Barnstable.  They were mixed with this other group and spread out among various lanes.  They showed excellent sportsmanship and were able to compete with little or no assistance from staff.  It was great to see the students having so much fun, and making new connections.

It was a great day to bowl, and a great day to see Latham shine.

Contributed by:
Frannie Quirk

Friday, February 10, 2012

Circle of Courage

The Circle of Courage, is a model of youth empowerment supported by contemporary research, the heritage of early youth work pioneers and Native philosophies of child care. The model is encompassed in four core values: belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity. The central theme of this model is that a set of shared values must exist in any community to create environments that ultimately benefit all.
The Children’s Program recently received a grant from the Tower Foundation to train all staff in the use of RAP (Response Abilities Pathways) which is the set of direct care tools associated with the Circle of Courage. In addition to training all staff, the grant is allowing us to train four Master trainers in the use of RAP.
The Circle of Courage encompasses much more than just a way of talking to kids. In order to be successful, implementation requires that we examine and improve the entire community. For our kids to be successful we have to ensure that all staff, sups and administrators also are having the four needs of Belonging, Mastery, Independence and Generosity fulfilled. Children’s program staff recently completed a survey about the staff culture and we are in the process of strategizing on how to make cultural improvements.
The first training of RAP will occur on Feb 22 and 23. Mark Freado, the president of Reclaiming Youth International, the company that trains on the Circle of Courage Model, is coming to Latham himself to conduct the first training. Thirty staff will be in attendance. On Feb 15, we will be hosting a visit from a representative from the Tower Foundation who wants to see our program in action. We are very grateful for their involvement and support of this very important program. 

Contributed by:
Tim Vaughan
Residential Director

"Opportunity is a bird that never perches." 
~Claude McDonald

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Special Olympics Teams Hard at Work

Special Olympics Basketball and Bowling teams have been hard at work practicing for their upcoming Tournaments.  Brandon Byrd and Jeremiah Nickerson are new to the Special Olympics program and they are doing a wonderful job teaching the students the ins and outs of basketball.  The basketball team has a scrimmage with the Barnstable Intermediate School on Monday the 30th.  There they will be able to practice their skills to help us do well at our basketball tournament in Bridgewater on Feb 4th. 

Frannie Quirk is not new to the Special Olympics program but she is new to coaching.  She is now the Special Olympics Bowling head coach and Neil Irving has stepped up to be the Assistant Coach.  Together they bring great enthusiasm to the bowling practice! The students are enjoying themselves immensely, and are very excited for their upcoming Tournament on January 29th.  Teams from all over the south coast will be competing at Ryans Family Amusements in Yarmouth.

Good Luck to all of our Olympians! And Thanks to the coaches that have volunteered to participate in the winter sports season!  We couldn’t have done this without these special people!

Submitted by:
Patricia Morgan
Day Supervisor

Friday, February 3, 2012

New Benefit for Staff…

The new year is here and it is getting off to a great start!  We are excited to be able to add another benefit to our already wonderful benefit program…a Tuition Reimbursement Plan!  This has definitely been a topic of interest over the years.  We are all affected by rising prices and tight budgets during these difficult economic times and it is very exciting to be able to offer assistance to our staff as they pursue their educational goals. 

Many folks were able to sign up for this program immediately.  We hope the interest will continue to grow.  It is exciting when you are able to find your passion, challenge yourself intellectually and obtain personal growth in the process.  Best of luck to our current students….here’s to May, the final grade and the reimbursement check!!

Betty Gray,
Human Resources Representative

"The safe way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket." 
~Frank Hubbard