on Dec 3 2012
on Oct 31 2012
Foster Parent’s Perspective on Fostering a Life by Kim Snodgrass, REACH Founder
On October 20th, I flew out from San Francisco, California to speak to the Pennsylvania State Resource Family Association about what it means to break down the word foster and how we as caretakers can bridge the education gap for all children. Below is what our audience collectively shared.
Things that worked well for parents as a child/teenageer growing up:
- Support network and family
- Never giving up
- Being consistent
- Love unconditionally (Agape)
- Having compassion
- Going all in on a challenge
- Building self confidence by affirmation from others
- Having adults come to events, concerts, or graduation ceremonies showing support
- Sense of humor, laughter
- Being pushed in the right direction even though at the time it did not feel like it
- Setting goals with an adult
- Create a timeline with a “things to do” list
- Raised to believe “I can do this”
Things that parents can do that work well for children/teenagers in foster homes:
- Emotional, social, and physical support
- Giving youth a voice
- Validate feelings (but not comparing the adult’s feelings)
- Believing in them by example, not just by words.
- Expression that you care. Show them.
- Coach them to have a vision and see their goals (Helps to write them down and check in every week or two weeks to see where they are on their goals)
- Learning to trust
- Being non judgemental
- Staying positive
- Being assertive as parents
- Promoting graduation and success
- Promoting and leading by example by what it means to be a successful adult
- Understand that every child learns differently, and it takes promoting and encouraging alternative learning approaches
- Stability after care- a place to go after foster care, during the holidays, during college
- Use concrete examples with children and never theory. Show them what the examples look like.
- Advocate for children that do not have a voice.
- Willingness to change
- Giving routine and structure to all children
- Knowing that it’s never too late
- Showing them a sense of belonging and being there for them no matter what
- College tours
- Giving children a network, sharing contacts that may be able to help them to get a job or apply to college
on Jul 31 2012
This summer REACH gave teen girls in foster care the opportunity to express themselves and explore their creativity at Lorraine Lawson’s art studio in Campbell, Ca.
We are very thankful that Lorraine Lawson allowed us to use her studio and that she was kind enough to offer us guidance in creating our masterpieces. She went around the studio giving us advice on how to create the things we imagined in our minds for our paintings. She provided a bunch of materials for us to use like maps, music sheets, magazines, quotes from books, and so much more. With all those materials and tips from Lorraine, the power of the participant’s right noggins roamed free.
One of the things that was helpful in creating these pieces was the conversation and introduction we had at the beginning of the session. Lorraine asked us all to think of the three things that inspire us. Many of the girls said music, traveling, and the people that they love inspired them. All the participants awed us with their artist talent this summer. Check out our slide show below of all the art pieces we created this summer.
Interested in taking a class at Lorraine Lawson’s Studio? Visit her website: http://onefineartist.com/
on Jul 18 2012
Research shows that girls and young women need supportive relationships in order to thrive. REACH is designed to do just that!
This month, July 2012, has been dedicated to bringing the young women who participated in our REACH Curves Fitness Program together and strengthen the bond we builded during those amazing eight weeks.
One of the most random, but turned out to be really awesome, adventure we had as a group was last weekend’s outing to downtown Los Altos, CA. Where the heck is that you ask? It is a small town in Silicon Valley. Our intention was to get together and do something fun like get dinner and a movie, but when we got to our destination, the entire downtown was closed off to set up a wine and art festival the following day! The streets were practically empty and everything was closed except for a few cafes.
Many people would have called it quits and gone home. But not us! We saw this as an opportunity for a ton of fun to happen. We took out our cameras and owned the streets! We turned these empty streets into our stage, and had a mini photo shoot capturing a lovely summer evening.
After exploring this empty downtown, we found a nail salon open. The coolest thing about it was that we had the salon to ourselves. It felt like we had a V.I.P. nail art party without expecting it! All the girls got to choose thier nail polish color and got manicures. We didn’t have that dinner and movie experience that we wanted due to things that were out of our control, but we ended up having a better time because of it. Getting manicures done gave us a better opportunity to catch up, bond, and learn more about the girls.
Part of mentoring a specific cohort like this one, is consistency and communication. At REACH we strive to nurture relationships that we build with our students and mentors through consistency and communication. After this outing, we found that the girls were more comfortable interacting with all of the group members. When we first meet some of the ladies, a few of them were very shy. When we meet again, those girls were more talkative and engaged. We are proud to see that there have been improvement in the girls self esteem and social interactions. Girl Power!
on May 23 2012
About the REACH Fine Art Retreat
Who is interested in exploring their creative side this summer 2012? You are in luck because REACH is providing that opportunity for you this summer! There will be TWO sessions starting in July each on a Sunday for three hours where you will have a chance to work side by side Lorraine Lawson, a famous fine artist, in her studio. How cool is that?
This is a unique opportunity to tell your life story, share your opinions, and express your self in a healthy way using art and multimedia. Here at REACH we are non judgmental and we encourage everyone to just keep an open mind and to be respectful. This program is meant to serve youth in foster care or former foster care youth in order to give them the same opportunities to succeed in the future.
The two sessions are going on:
Sunday July 8th and Sunday July 22nd from 12-3pm. You must commit two both dates in order to participate in this program. The sessions will be held at 535 Salmar Ave Suite E, Campbell CA.
How to sign up:
With that said, sign up today! Its Free! All you have to do is email us your name and contact information and a sentence about why you are interested in joining. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org and our phone number is 408-357-3224.
For more information about Lorraine Lawson visit http://onefineartist.com
on May 21 2012
on May 14 2012
on May 2 2012
Hey Ladies! We are so proud of you for making it this far in our program! You guys rock! Here are some things we want to share with you about things to look forward to in the next couple of weeks:
1. REACH Promo Video Shoot
Happening this Saturday May 5th! Wear the work out gear REACH gave you. Also think about the following because we are going to ask for your opinion:
Why should other girls join our program?
And what your favorite moments at REACH have been?
Remember this is going to be FUN!
2. Measuring Time
We are getting our final measurements this Saturday May 5th so keep in mind some of the tips we learned at Curves:
Stay hydrated by drinking 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water
EAT small snacks EVERY THREE HOURS
3. REACH Dinner Ceremony
Will be in two and half weeks from now on Sat May 19th so save the date!
We also will be going to see the Peninsula Symphony!
We have an event flyer on our FB with more info!