Rebound of Whatcom County Programs
Ray of Hope
A summer program for children who struggle with emotional, behavioral, physical and/or economic challenges. It is the last stop for many who have been excluded from other programs because of behavioral challenges. Counselors develop close mentoring relationships with each child, and kids are taught the life skills necessary to understand, talk about, and cope with their lives in healthy, positive ways. Activities include recreation, arts and crafts, and small group skill-building.
Support groups for children through 8th grade who are dealing with poverty, abuse, foster care, loss of parent, homelessness, or grief. They learn positive coping skills, anger management, self-awareness, and communication skills. This program is also provided in the context of close mentoring relationships with caring adults. Classes are conducted simultaneously for parents to support them in coping with their current challenges, to parent their children well and to make positive, sustained change.
Teaching parents the behavior management approach that Rebound successfully uses with their children, giving them the skills they need to determine a vision for their own family and the skills and resources to move in a healthy direction. Also offering support groups for pregnant and parenting mothers in their teens and twenties dealing with domestic violence, poverty, and overcoming these challenges.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Maggie, age 16, is a picture of our hope for children with extreme behavior and emotional challenges. She came to Ray of Hope directly from a mental health hospital. She was self-destructive, had a difficult time relating to peers or dealing with authority, and had intense anger challenges. During the first year she bonded with a caring adult who supported her in making behavioral changes necessary to be safe and to cope in that social setting. She found a place to belong and express her feelings appropriately, and began to see success academically and socially. Currently she volunteers with young students at Rebound, and has completed over 900 hours of service to “give other kids the support and skills I was given at Ray of Hope”.
Rebound would like to take strategies that are effective with children who have emotional and behavioral issues and translate them into a working model that can be used to educate and support their parents. Our current parent education class will be expanded into an 8-week curriculum that will be offered in the summer of 2013 to parents of children in Rebound’s Ray of Hope Summer Camp, and to parents of children in area schools which use similar behavior strategies. These sessions will be offered in both English and Spanish, and will include a meal as well as childcare for children under the age of 12. In addition to presenting strategies for dealing with children with behavioral issues, the sessions will create a network of support between the families and with community mentors who will host the weekly dinners and offer modeling of positive disciplining techniques. The sessions will conclude with a Family Night Celebration that will include creation of a nutritious family meal together, information about nutrition and healthy living, and family recreation and activity options. This activity will give parents an opportunity to practice techniques they learned in class, and support poverty reduction through skill building and community connections for both children and parents. We expect to serve approximately 100 parents through parent education and support this summer.