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Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Bikers ride across state raising awareness for children's mental health Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Bikers ride across state raising awareness for children's mental health <p><em>This article is written by Shannon Heckt. </em><a href="" target="_blank"><em>It was posted on on May 17, 2019</em></a><em>.</em></p><p>GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Motorcyclists rode across Nebraska this week to carry a message straight to the governor's desk the call for more mental health services for kids.</p><p>They call themselves the Eagle Riders and they started their ride in Scottsbluff earlier in the week.</p><p>"We know that we are doing something. We are helping educate so people can make informed decisions," Eagle Riders Stop Coordinator Holly Stevens said.</p><p>The letters they are carrying ask lawmakers to consider making mental health issues a priority when it comes to kids. Organizations like Boys Town help kids ages 10-18 who have behavioral and mental health struggles. But they aren't big enough to meet the demand.</p><p>"A lot of kids fall in the gaps of you know they might qualify for a certain level of service but they truly kind of need a higher level of service and sometimes those services are hard for kids to get," Boys town Program Director Deb Hulinsky said.</p><p>Boys Town can take in about 12 kids at a time and they serve most of the western two thirds of the state. Hulinsky said there needs to be an inpatient hospital for some of the more severe cases. But most of those kids have to go all the way to Omaha.</p><p>The Eagle Riders have been making this trip for 12 years. While they still hope for change, they are passionate about showing support for the kids.</p><p>"There is no words to describe what it is to see these kids faces when we pull in and the smiles on their faces and them just being supported," Stevens said.</p><p>They hope the law makers will help get more services available in the rural parts of the state and raise awareness of children's mental health.</p><p>Hulinsky said that mental health affects everyone in some way and that Nebraska needs a lot more services to meet the demand.</p>2019-06-18T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="EagleRiders" src="/locations/central-nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/eagle+riders.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Volunteers pack "Forever Bags" for foster kids Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Volunteers pack "Forever Bags" for foster kids <p><em>This article is written by Kelsey Dickenson. </em><a href=""><em>It was posted on on June 9, 2019</em></a><em>.</em></p><p>GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Non-profits look to foster hope for kids in the court system with special bags they can take with them when they move from home to home.</p><p>About 30 volunteers sort through donated items at Peace Lutheran Church Sunday. All the items will go in large duffel bags, called "Forever Bags," full of hygiene products, toys, a blanket, pillow and clothes.</p><p>"They come into town with very little. Sometimes just the clothes off their back. Sometimes things that don't even fit. Or sometimes we get babies straight from the hospital that don't even have anything," said Fannye Placke, a foster family services consultant with Boys Town in Grand Island.</p><p>Boys Town is one of the foster care agencies in the area who will receive the "Forever Bags." </p><p>They currently support 40 kids in foster care. They'll take the bags and give them out to new kids that come through their agency.</p><p>Placke said she hopes the bags will provide comfort to the kids as they move from town to town.</p><p>"I mean you see all this stuff, and you think "$10 here or there." I can't imagine how much time and effort it took for the whole community to come together for these kids, especially kids that they'll probably never meet," Placke said.</p><p>It's all part of Heartland United Way's Day of Action event. They started collecting donations for it about a month ago, and started planning the event last year.</p><p>There's 400 kids in the court system between Hall, Hamilton, Howard and Merrick Counties.</p><p>"It's really important to find the need and do everything we can to fix it and irradiate it," said Cammie Benson, director of community engagement for Heartland United Way. "There's a need out there so we tried to do what we can to help."</p><p>Heartland United Way provided a total of 400 bags for the foster care agencies in the area.</p><p>If you're interested in helping the foster kids in Boys Town in Grand Island, you can call them at 308-381-4444.<br></p>2019-06-17T05:00:00ZNewsCentral Nebraska;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town cooking up new energy with remodeled kitchen Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town cooking up new energy with remodeled kitchen <p><em>This article is written by Danielle Davis. </em><a href=""><em>It was posted on on March 8, 2019.</em></a><em> </em></p><p>GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Boys Town in Grand Island has been serving the community for almost 30 years. They've also been working with a kitchen that is as old as the home, Friday they cut a ribbon on a new kitchen.</p><p>Experts recommend that families spend dinner time together to strengthen their bond. When you are living in a temporary home environment that sense of normalcy can become even more important.</p><p>The Boys Town newly upgraded kitchen is giving the home a new energy.</p><p>"These are kids who have been labeled bad kids, and they are not. There is no such things as a bad boy, only things like bad training, bad examples and bad thinking. They just need new skills and we are here teaching them those skills and it is really encouraging to see kids thrive as we reinforce those skills," said Megan Andrews, Boys Town Senior Director.</p><p>Tours of the house were given by the kids. </p><p>"Everything at the shelter is aimed at giving the kids a real family and give them a strong family feeling," said Founder and Volunteer, Dori Bush.</p><p>The kitchen was completely gutted and rebuilt to reflect modern times. The entire project cost about $150,000 and was done completely with community donations.</p><p>"I am really glad the community has stepped up and helps out because this is an important facility for not only Grand Island but the entire state," said Senator Dan Quick, (R) Nebraska</p><p>Although the home is temporary for kids, while they are there they have improvement programs and structure. </p><p>"A lot of our kids come from fractured homes where it is not normal to eat, cook or pray together. We try to give them that normalcy as much as we can. We really believe that every kid deserves to know what it is like to be part of a family. Our kitchen is a big piece of accomplishing that," continued Andrews.</p><p>While the kitchen was being rebuilt, businesses, organizations and individuals brought them food every day. The house can hold 18 kids at a time. </p><p>They are currently in need of:</p><p>1) Parent Child Interaction Therapy Equipment</p><p>2) Video Equipment for Doctoral Student Training</p><p>3) iPad (2)</p><p>4) Window coverings</p><p>5) Loveseats (4)</p><p>6) Chairs (4) </p><p>7) End tables (4)<br></p>2019-03-15T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Boys Town Central NE" src="/blog/PublishingImages/Banners/btsign.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> <img alt="Boys Town Central NE" height="329" src="/blog/PublishingImages/Banners/btsign.jpg" width="555" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Central Nebraska;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Community has made Christmas special at Boys Town Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Community has made Christmas special at Boys Town <p><em>This article is written by Deborah Hulinsky. It was posted to </em><a href="" target="_blank"><em></em></a><em> on December 15, 2018.</em></p><p>"It takes a whole village to raise a child" is an African proverb that is frequently used to describe how children are influenced by the many people who touch their lives. This is especially applicable to the work we do at Boys Town Central Nebraska through our many programs.</p><p>This past year, Boys Town has been blessed beyond words by the generosity of our community. We were able to raise enough money from donors across the region to completely renovate the kitchen of our shelter in Grand Island. The remodeling started on Nov. 19 and we hope to complete it the last week of December. During the construction, the community stepped up once again to provide every lunch and every dinner for the kids in our care.</p><p>Christmas is a special time for the children at our shelter and for all those we serve through our programs. The children experience what some of them describe as "the best Christmas I have ever had." This is not just about the gifts they receive; it's about the love that's behind those gifts and all of the fun activities they enjoy during the holidays. Once again, this is all possible because individuals and organizations in our community come through every year to donate many nice presents through the Giving Tree at the Conestoga Mall and different clothing drives, bring treats to our kids and spend evenings with them.</p><p>I would like to thank the "village" of Grand Island and surrounding communities for all of their contributions in helping to raise the children we serve. I am proud to live in such a caring and giving community that wraps its arms around those in need, both during the holidays and throughout the year.</p><p>Have a Merry Christmas and blessed new year!</p>2018-12-17T06:00:00ZNewsCentral Nebraska;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Grand Island unveils new Community Schools program Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Grand Island unveils new Community Schools program <p><em>This article is written by Alex Whitney. It was posted on </em><a href=""><em></em></a><em>.</em></p><p>Bridging the gap between services and education, Grand Island Public Schools unveiled its new community schools program at Lincoln Elementary school today making them the first school in the city designated as a community campus.</p><p>But what does that mean to be a community campus?</p><p>It means that educators at Lincoln Elementary will be able to partner with community organizations like the Heartland United Way and Boys Town to provide services to their students that they typically wouldn't get directly from the school.</p><p>Dental services, access to social workers, and a variety of other programs are planned to give parents a central resource for everything they need to make their students successful.</p><p>"A lot of times we find its more convenient for families to be involved and engaged with their students when they are in their neighborhood school. So I think the key word in community schools is unity. How do we garner a number of different organizations to come together to provide additional supports our students and families desire," said GIPS Superintendent Tawana Grover.</p><p>While students come first, the new community school campus will work as a resource for families as well and part of the program is developing school campuses that parents, like Angie Martinez whose son attends Lincoln, can feel just as comfortable there as their students.</p><p>"You just go through the door and everyone says hello to you so its very comfortable. And you know all the moms that are here are friends because we see each other all the day so it feels like home you just enter and can say hello everybody," said Martinez. </p><p>The idea of community focused education isn't new for Lincoln Elementary school.</p><p>Lincoln principal Maureen Oman has always had a focus on bringing community resources into school for her students.</p><p>"We really wanted to partner with the community because they wrap their arms around us and they help us. One of the other things is we have a lot of people in our actual community who want to do things. And I just had some unique connections we started with the GI Free Church and they said can we do something for you? So those partnerships naturally aligned and that was the big push," said Lincoln Elementary principal Maureen Oman.</p><p>Friday's announcement is just the beginning of the Community Schools program in Grand Island, and the district hopes to expand the programs available and grow the number of schools so every quadrant of Grand Island has a community school nearby.<br></p>2018-12-17T06:00:00ZNews<img alt="Grande Island School" src="/locations/north-florida/Banners/GrandIslandschools.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Central Nebraska;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Starling joins Boys Town Central Nebraska staff Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Starling joins Boys Town Central Nebraska staff <p><em>The following was posted to </em><a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><em></em></span></a><em> on December 15, 2018.</em></p><p>Dr. Carley Starling is the new clinical psychologist for Boys Town Central Nebraska, an affiliate of the original Father Flanagan's Boys' Home.</p><p>Starling will lead the organization's mission of saving children and healing families in the Central Nebraska community, based in Grand Island.</p><p>She is a licensed psychologist with more than 10 years of experience working with children and families with a variety of challenges. She completed her doctorate in Colorado in clinical psychology, with a concentration in neuropsychology.</p><p>Starling started her own clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo., for children with neurodevelopmental disorders and their families, before she relocated to Nebraska with her family.</p><p>Boys Town Central Nebraska is located at 3230 W. Wildwood Drive. Starling can be reached there at (308) 381-4444</p>2018-12-17T06:00:00ZNewsCentral Nebraska;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Compass has helped 100 children find forever homes, something that was celebrated on National Adoption Day Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Compass has helped 100 children find forever homes, something that was celebrated on National Adoption Day <p><em>This article is written by Mary Jane Skala. It was posted on </em><a href=""><em></em></a><em> on November 21, 2018. </em></p><p>Kearney — After Webb and Meghan Antholz lost their newborn son in 2010, they struggled. Then they had an idea: They could become foster parents.</p><p>"We always knew there were kids out there who needed a home, so we decided that fostering was going to be the path we would travel down," Meghan said.</p><p>She hasn't looked back.</p><p>In April 2017, three little girls came to live with them as foster children.</p><p>On Oct. 31, the couple adopted the three. They are Jane Everleigh, 5; Josalynn Davina, 4, and Jalissa Joyce, 2. "I consider us lucky to have found our perfect family the first time out the gate," Antholz said.</p><p>Adopting three children brought the couple new challenges, but those were softened as they all got to know each other and developed a routine.</p><p>Jane and Josalynn started preschool shortly after adoption, "and it was awesome to see them succeed and learn new things," Antholz said.</p><p>Special, too, was celebrating Jalissa's first birthday. She came to live with them when she was 9 months old.</p><p>"Seeing her grow and develop her own personality has been one of the biggest joys," her mother said.</p><p>On Nov. 3, the couple had a party to introduce the girls to their family and friends. Last Saturday, they celebrated at a National Adoption Day party at First United Methodist Church that celebrated the adoption of 27 children in Buffalo County in 2018. Hosted by Buffalo County judges Gerald Jorgensen and John Rademacher, the party included entertainment and games, a photo booth, a cake walk, prizes, and food. The official National Adoption Day was Nov. 16.</p><p>"Fostering can be the hardest job you take on, but it can also be the most rewarding job you take on," Antholz said. "I would tell parents to be prepared for just about anything and everything. You never know what you will face with kids and what trauma they have faced."</p><p>The Antholz family worked with Compass, a non-profit agency at 514 W. 11th St. that works with foster and adoptive families. The three Antholz adoptions, and two others by a Kearney family this fall, marked 100 adoptions handled by Compass in the last five years. Compass was founded in 2007 to support families in crisis.</p><p>"For every child who has been adopted, many more have been successfully reunified with their biological families," said Savannah Lyon, a Compass project lead.</p><p>Lyon, who is responsible for communications, fundraising and marketing for Compass, said the agency initially focused on finding transitional homes for older teens. "Until about five years ago we only had a handful of foster homes and we had fewer than 35 placements," she said.</p><p>Today the agency oversees more than 50 families in 23 Nebraska counties who are serving nearly 80 children in foster care.</p><p>"In these past five years, our partnerships with families willing to share their home with children in need has increased significantly. As we have shared the need, families have responded. That speaks a lot to the generosity and kindness of our community. We are grateful to have so much support from individuals, families, churches and businesses to make this work possible," Lyon said.</p><p>On Nov. 13, as part of National Adoption Month this month, Mayor Stan Clouse issued a proclamation to three staff members from Boys Town Central Nebraska at 620 E. 25th St. who work with foster families. The three were Ana Schroeder and Melissa Kometscher, both foster family service consultants, and Shawna Hammond, a foster family services supervisor. The three recruit and train new foster parents and help them through the licensing process. They also help place foster children and conduct monthly consultations with the foster child(ren) and the foster parents.</p><p>Boys Town also has a site in Grand Island that provides services for foster care and in-home family services. It operates a shelter there. The work is headquartered at 101-year-old Boys Town in Omaha.<br></p>2018-11-28T06:00:00ZNewsCentral Nebraska;#