Summer is here and looks like it will be a hot one again!
This month’s announcements:
We are planning field trips to WaterWorks in Humble on June 8, 2018. Their education center offers a unique environment for creative learning with interactive exhibits, demonstrations, and hands-on activities for visitors.Please pay attention to Remind.com for more details as the date gets closer.
I apologize for the inconvenience of temporarily holding the Achieve program at 3819 Plum Valley and not at our Multi-Purpose building. The floors were waxed over the Memorial Day Holiday, and the fumes lingered longer than we expected.
Now for your monthly report:
Drum roll please! Our new website is now LIVE! Please visit the site and take a look for yourself: www.villagelac.org. We have added more pictures and will update them frequently. Please let us know your thoughts and show your Villagers!
It appears that a lot of you are following the Remind.com alerts. We have been getting great feedback regarding announcements about parties and upcoming activities. Thank you!
I am sad to announce that James Cole is no longer serving as our Director of Operations. We wish Mr. Cole the best. On a positive note, we appreciate the ideas he brought to the table, and we will continue to build on that model. We also appreciate the ideas you have submitted, and we're working hard to prioritize them for further consideration.
I am pleased to announce that Jessica Bankston will be our new Director of Operations. Jessica has really stepped up over the last year and has been a blessing to me and the Villagers. She has the heart and desire to make a positive impact and believes whole-heartedly in our direction. Jessica will still oversee our medical needs, but we have trained a few more CNAs and Med Aides to support her with this responsibility. We have also put in place two program coordinators (Lead Staff) to continue to build on our program. These positions will report directly to Jessica.
The new positions will be filled by Christina Whaley (focused on Achieve and Community-Based Incentives, or outings) and Theo Bouchard (focused on Grow and Learn). Christina has been a part of The Village staff for a long time and has done a great job with our vocational program. Theo comes to us with many years as a teacher with a Masters in Special Education. She has been serving as a Life Skills Instructor in our Grow program for the past few months. Both positions will be hands-on and continue to work on the front line. Please keep in mind that any staff compliments and/or concerns should be directed to Jessica.
Our Village golf tournament was a success. My sincere thanks go out to our parents, supporters, sponsors and staff. We exceeded our target amount which led to a good April. Our attendance average was up as well. THANK YOU, PARENTS and CAREGIVERS. Please keep in mind - I know summer is here, and therefore vacations are happening. Please do us a favor and let us know of any planned absences ahead of time so that we can prepare accordingly for the fluctuation in our attendance numbers.
We have also started our audit process for our 2017 financials. Our third party reviewing agency will submit a documented report, which will be uploaded to The Village website once the Board of Directors has reviewed and approved the documents. Please keep in mind that this review process will take some time. I will update the status of progress each month.
I would also remind you to share your comments/concerns with me directly, as again, the only way to continue growth and progress is together. I welcome your input. Feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at the office.
Learn, Grow, Achieve - A Note from Programming
By Christina Whaley, Vocational Coordinator
Aktion Club is currently open for new members. Enrollment will be open until June 30th. After that, new members can join in September. Aktion Club meets the second Friday of the month from10-11 a.m. in the Main Center Production Room.
Every year, Aktion Club picks a service area to focus on for service projects. This year, the Aktion Club members have chosen to support Military Service Organizations. At the last meeting, the Aktion Club made goodie bags for the military that included crossword puzzle books, candy, and snacks, along with "thank you for your sevice" cards.
Currently, the Aktion Club is creating an honor board with loved ones who are currently or have formerly served in military. If you would like to add your loved one's name or picture to the board, you can email me at email@example.com.
In the next month, Aktion club will be sponsoring a dance - more information will follow. We have some fun things planned for the next couple months, so look for our next article!
Achieve Vocational Program Update
In the first six months of the year, The Village Vocational (Achieve) Coordinator at the Village Learning Center has helped find meaningful employment for two Villagers.
In addition, two more are waiting to hear word from their interviews. McDonalds on Northpark in Kingwood hired one of our students, and the Villager is helping serve orders, cleaning the main dining area, and practicing good customer service. This Villager is thriving and is excited to do great things for the company. The Watercrest at Kingwood Retirement Home is the newest employment opportunity and has so far hired one of our Villagers. Another Villager is currently filling out paperwork and is eager to start training as a part-time dishwasher.
A third job was also filled by a Villager who is now employed by The Village! This employee runs the Village Snack Shop, while managing cash transactions, customer service, and inventory.
By Erica Badamo, Development Manager
The heat is coming in fast - I hope everyone is staying cool and hydrated!
It's that time again - The Village’s "Lake Houston’s Got Talent Show" is coming up! It is personally my favorite fundraiser of the year. If you have not had the opportunity to attend in the past, make this your year!
The event features a variety of talents from our community. In the past, we’ve had fire dancers, magicians, comedians, singers and much more! It truly is a magical evening. There are 2 divisions: General Public and Special Needs, with cash prizes for the top 3 in each division. For more information please visit- http://villagelac.org/event/talentshow/ or contact Erica Badamo- firstname.lastname@example.org / 281-973-0508. We hope to see you there!
New for this year, we are welcoming Suzann Stackhouse as the 2018 Talent Show Committee Chair. We are so excited to have her on board! Suzann will be working hand-in-hand with the Development Department to make sure we have the best show yet. We are so grateful for the time commitment she has made!
Are you interested in becoming more involved with The Village? We could use your help! Volunteers are vital to ensuring that we have the support necessary to provide the best possible care for our loved ones. We have opportunities ranging from Instructional Aides on Monday-Friday, Thrift Store Volunteers on Thursday- Saturday, Construction remodeling volunteer opportunities, and of course, Talent Show volunteers!
If you are available, we would love to have you as a helping hand. Please contact me at email@example.com and we will get you ready to volunteer.
We also need your help in spreading the word about The Village. Did you know that by committing to a monthly donation of $15, that gift reaches 5 individuals at The Village to help them reach success? You can help us by sharing this card with your friends and family. It can be saved and shared on your social media page, emailed, or printed and handed out. Either way, we would greatly appreciate your help to share the wonderful message!
As always, thank you for all that you all do. It truly takes a Village to accomplish success as we Learn to Grow and Achieve!
By Jennifer Powell, Assistant Residential Manager
May started off with a bang here at Stoney Glen! Kingwood Bible Church came out and hosted BBQ & Bingo with our clients and staff. Everyone enjoyed some great food and had a great time.
Stoney Glen celebrated Memorial Day with a grand BBQ hosted by Shelly Darmon and Emmanuel Reis. The clients and staff enjoyed burgers and hot dogs with all the fixin's! The party lasted well into the evening and everyone had a blast!
All of the April showers brought Stoney Glen the most beautiful May flowers! Our back patio is in full bloom. Our clients enjoy sitting outside in the evening with the fragrant aromas of all the new May blooms.
We rounded out our month of May with a lovely Stoney Glen dinner out. Clients and staff enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the Potato Patch. Stories and laughter filled the air as we took part in delicious foods in a wonderful atmosphere.
As always, I want to thank Pastor Mark Renn from First Presbyterian Church of Kingwood for having church volunteers who so generously donate their time every Tuesday. They have supper with us, then have a Bible study led by Mrs. Dorene Breach. She has a way of making learning fun and the residents seem to thoroughly enjoy it and her. Stoney Glen is now full, residents are all happy, and life is good.
By Jessica Bankston, Director of Operations and Medical Nurse
Happy summer everyone!
We need some help from you. The Village strives to keep the clients active indoors and outdoors. Designated outside times are being moved to mornings due to the summer heat. However, you can help by sending refillable water bottles with the clients. Please label the bottles with the client’s first and last name. Water bottles will be refilled prior to outings, outside events, and outside transitions. All locations have filtered water stations for the clients to use. Staff will assist those who need help refilling.
I have received some questions about shoes during the summer. We do not ever recommend flip-flops due to the fall risk. However, open-toed shoes with a back strap are acceptable.
If you have received any nursing assessments or annual physicals this year, those are due as soon as possible. Those are required by the different waiver programs, and services will be interrupted if we are out of compliance. If your client has an appointment coming up, please contact me for blank physical forms.
Reminders about the medication policy: The Village strives to ensure the safety of all clients in attendance. It is very important that parents, guardians, and caregivers follow the medication policy. Clients are not allowed to bring medications to The Village. All medications must be checked in with designated staff or the nurse. All medications received must be accompanied with a doctor’s order (prescription or over the counter).
As always, please contact me with any questions or concerns.
The Village’s VIP (“Very Important Parents”) Network is for parents, caregivers and guardians. Our mission is to enhance communication between parents and The Village. We also support The Village’s fundraising/social events for our Villagers held outside of day center hours.
Our May meeting was held on May 14, at Carrabba’s. We do not meet during the summer, so meetings will resume in September. I will keep you posted! If you have any concerns during the summer you would like me to address, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At our May meeting, there were six of us in attendance. One parent is attempting to organize a meeting about waiver programs to be held in the fall - probably in October. Many of us have had challenges with waiver programs when a change happens, such as your loved one transitioning from SSI to Social Security. These types of changes will affect your Villager. If you have ever had to sit in front of someone at the Social Security office, you will find special needs issues are not what they deal with every day. Often, you will get wrong information unless you are proactive. Take it from someone who knows! You can be a much better advocate if you know beforehand how the rules will affect your Villager.
In general, we also brainstormed/wondered if there were “rainy day” activities for our Villagers. We know there are times when activities get rained out. Wouldn’t it be awesome if teachers could pull out a binder with back-up activities? For instance, we wondered if staff had ever thought to teach simple sign language to the Villagers. We also wondered if our awesome Village Choir had a repertoire of simple songs that all our Villagers were familiar with. Songs like “You Are My Sunshine” or “Do Re Mi.” There are many others. The choir could lead a sing-along with Villagers in the day program and not in the choir. How entertaining would that be for everyone?
I feel certain there are many other ideas floating out there! Feel free to email me, and I will pass along the ideas to The Village. Have a great summer!
Facilitator, VIP Network
The Special Olympics Lake Houston Hurricanes website is another great way to find more activities for your family. Follow this link to see what's coming up!