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Our Wish for 2021https://www.boystown.org/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/Pages/Our-Wish-for-2021.aspxOur Wish for 2021<p>​​​Friends,</p><p>Remember when we used to take long car rides with our families, particularly with the kids? On those long drives you would hear over and over, “are we there yet?" I'm sure for all of us, 2020 feels like that long drive that just won't ever end!<br>To varying extents, this year has brought with it hardship, unforeseen challenges, isolation, anxiety, and even grief. It has been a tough time for our community, especially the youth and families in our care who have been and are disproportionately impacted. Despite these struggles, our youth and families have been incredibly resilient, thanks in part to our deeply committed staff, Family-Teachers<sup>®</sup>, and other members of our support team.</p><p>With the 2020 holiday season upon us, I've thought a lot about this journey we have been on for the past year and have challenged myself to <em>“Remember, life is a journey, not a destination."</em> Moreover, <em>“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings."</em><br><em> </em><br>While it's not always easy to do, finding gratitude and celebrating the ordinary moments of this year have helped me immensely. Watching our staff find creative and fun ways to engage with our youth, and with each other, reassures me that although these moments are not normal, they have taught us to appreciate the more common interactions and the simple things we often take for granted.</p><p>I am filled with gratitude for each of you, our incredible community of supporters, who have stepped up to help us survive this tumultuous year. Your kindness, support, and investment in our work has made the successes of this year's journey possible.</p><p>Our wish for 2021 is to continue this life-saving work, and to continue helping make our world a place with less hate and more love.</p><p>From all of us at Boys Town North Florida, we wish you and your loved ones a healthy, safe and joyous holiday season. May you seek out and find peace in your own beautiful ordinary moments. </p><p>Gratefully,<br>Marcus Lampkin<br>Executive Director</p><p style="text-align:center;"> <a class="btn btn-theme13" href="https://support.boystown.org/site/Donation2?df_id=2528&mfc_pref=T&2528.donation=form1" target="_blank">Help us teach love in 2021</a></p>​ <style> .ExternalClass .bt .btn-theme13 { margin:10px 0; padding-right:30px; padding-left:30px; padding-top:15px; padding-bottom:15px; } </style>​<br>2020-12-23T06:00:00ZNewstext/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
A chance to participate in a battle of COMIC proportions: Boys Town North Florida’s Clash of the Heroes Character Design Contesthttps://www.boystown.org/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/Pages/Heroes-Character-Design-Cotest.aspxA chance to participate in a battle of COMIC proportions: Boys Town North Florida’s Clash of the Heroes Character Design Contest<p>As part of their summer-rec activities, the youth living at Boys Town North Florida had the opportunity to demonstrate their creative talents in an exercise involving core aspects of literacy, including reading and writing. The fun, creative activity -- <em>The Clash of the Heroes Character Design Contest</em> was held July 13- August 24, 2020.  The contest centered around the creation of a special edition of a comic book and consisted of two themed, academically connected stages: character design and creative writing. </p><p>First, the youth created an original superhero character. Then, they created a backstory for the winning character, as well as a conflict resolution for the hero. A series of educational workshops on “Character Design" and “Elements of Creative Writing" were provided to youth to introduce and teach the associated skills for each contest stage.  </p><p><em>BTNF's Clash of the Heroes</em> contest resulted in the creation of some amazing characters and creative, intriguing stories, with <em>Night Angel</em> (created by Brooklyn) and the <em>Adventures of Night Angel</em> (written by Alex) emerging as the 2020 BTNF Character Design Contest Winners.</p><p>“We are very proud of all the youth and the process that identified our finalists and 2020 contest winners," said Executive Director Marcus Lampkin.</p><p>The youth identified finalists from each family home to represent their respective homes and to advance to the final stage-national voting. As part of national voting, BTNF faculty, staff, as well as “BTNF friends" and board members joined individuals from around the country in casting their vote for their favorite character and storyline.</p><p>In addition to the honor of having the winning character and storyline featured in a one-page stand-alone comic script, the finalists, runner-up, and winners (and family homes) for each stage were recognized at Boys Town North Florida's Annual Youth Awards Banquet. </p><p>This activity was offered to BTNF youth in partnership with the National Center on Improving Literacy (NCIL) and supported by the Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) at Florida State University.</p><p>Boys Town North Florida recognizes Dr. La'Tara Lampkin, who coordinated the activity, as well as faculty from NCIL/FCRR, Dr. Chris Stanley & Daniel Hooker, and Boys Town North Florida staff Gina Rogers, Wayne Longley and Loma Garland. A special thank you was given to long-time BTNF supporter, Nathan Archer, Director of Communications at FCRR and cartoonist for the Tallahassee Democrat, and Mars K.R., who developed and facilitated the educational workshops. <br><span><img src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/clashOfHeros.jpg" alt="Clash of the Heroes" style="margin:5px;" /></span></p>2020-12-01T06:00:00ZNews<img alt="Brooklyn of Boys Town" src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Brooklyn-w-Character--Counts-Award.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
ART Town Academy Helps Students Learn During Pandemichttps://www.boystown.org/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/Pages/ART-Town-Academy-Helps-Students-Learn-During-Pandemic.aspxART Town Academy Helps Students Learn During Pandemic<p>As students struggle to adjust to the new normal of online schooling, Boys Town North Florida is taking huge strides to keep our Boys Town children and families' digital frustrations to the bare minimum. We have found that home is not a conducive learning environment when trying to stay motivated and free from everyday distractions. </p><p>So, the Boys Town team has decided to get creative and come up with a game plan on how to keep these kids on track with not only their academics, but their overall mental and physical health. And that is how the new Boys Town North Florida Educational Engagement Program at ART Town was born, or what I like to call, the <strong>ART Town Academy</strong>. Monday through Friday our Family Home campus youth report to our ART Town facility to complete their Florida Virtual School classes. </p><p>The space is perfect for young learners where they have a designated work area, small computer lab, crafts room, mini-library and so much more. Just like the traditional school setting, the children are provided with incremental breaks for stretching, snacks and trips to the bathroom to keep them feeling refreshed and ready to learn. Apart from providing resources to complete their assigned coursework during the day, we are implementing educational workshops, projects and volunteer-led programs for the children to take part in. These initiatives range anywhere from story reading with therapy dogs to volunteer-made video seminars on “how to build your resume," even an after-school yoga class to unwind after a long day of digital learning. Our team has been so impressed with how the youth have been able to transition during this difficult time and still find huge success academically – we have their report cards to prove it!</p><p><img src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Andrew.jpg" alt="Andrew at Boys Town" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p>2020-12-01T06:00:00ZNews<img alt="ArtTown at Boys Town" src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Art-room---school.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Foster Care Spotlight: The Perry’shttps://www.boystown.org/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/Pages/Foster-Care-Spotlight-The-Perrys.aspxFoster Care Spotlight: The Perry’s<p>Callie and Marvin Perry have been foster parents with Boys Town North Florida for 8 years and have had approximately 10 placements during this time. The Perry's typically have children placed in their home for longer periods of times than what is expected in foster care due to the level of care they are able to provide. The youth currently placed in their home have been with the Perry's since December of 2019. They have done an excellent job working with the youth to teach staying calm strategies, self-control, and social skills. The Perry's have been one of Boys Town North Florida's longest standing foster parents and are always willing to help us with respite needs, placements, and support to other foster parents. We are grateful for their commitment to improving the lives of the vulnerable children in our community. </p>2020-12-01T06:00:00ZNews<img alt="Foster Family at Boys Town - Perry's" src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Perry-Foster-Parents.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Youth Spotlight: Alize Blackhttps://www.boystown.org/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/Pages/Youth-Spotlight-Alize-Black.aspxYouth Spotlight: Alize Black<p>​Alize came to Boys Town North Florida almost two years ago when she could no longer reside with her family. As any child going through such distressing circumstances, Alize struggled to navigate her emotions and stay focused in school. Over the course of her stay on Family Home Program's campus, she found herself surrounded by friends and Family-Teachers® that gave her the support and confidence she needed to be a happier and healthier teenager. Over the last year, Alize has built strong bonds with her Family-Teachers, Mike and Joan Dunn, and Assistant Family-Teacher, Shamara Folks, who have never wavered in supporting not only her mental and emotional needs but her now, thriving academic efforts. This level of dedication showed Alize that she was important and that her education was a key priority on her journey to happiness and success. Family Home Consultant Nicole Wertz says, “Alize has shown her desire to reach her goals since she has been in the Family Home Program and we could not be prouder of her for her accomplishments!" So, when Boys Town received the call that Alize was awarded “Student of the Month" by Florida Virtual School there was nothing but pure delight and satisfaction – we knew she could do it! </p>2020-12-01T06:00:00ZNews<img alt="Alize at Boys Town" src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Alize.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Because of you, Boys Town North Florida saw a lot of GOOD in 2020https://www.boystown.org/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/Pages/Because-of-you-Boys-Town-North-Florida-saw-a-lot-of-GOOD-in-2020.aspxBecause of you, Boys Town North Florida saw a lot of GOOD in 2020<p>In these times of crisis, we stand together to serve. Despite a trying year…Because of you, we still saw a lot of GOOD in 2020. We are so grateful for our community partners, friends and supporters in North Florida. We wouldn't have these incredible success stories to share if it wasn't for you. Thank you!</p><div class="columns article-grid"><div class="column"> <a class="article" href="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/Pages/Resiliency-celebrated-at-2020-Youth-Awards-Banquet.aspx"> <img src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/nofla-1.jpg" alt="Boys Town" /> <span class="article-title">Resiliency celebrated at 2020 Youth Awards Banquet <span> </span></span></a></div><div class="column"> <a class="article" href="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/Pages/A-Night-to-Remember-for-a-Boys-Town-Youth.aspx"> <img src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/nofla-2.jpg" alt="Boys Town" /> <span class="article-title">A Night to Remember for a Boys Town Youth <span> </span></span></a></div><div class="column"> <a class="article" href="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/Pages/A-Special-Donation-to-BT-N-Florida.aspx"> <img src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/nofla-3.jpg" alt="Boys Town" /> <span class="article-title">A Special Donation to Boys Town North Florida <span> </span></span></a></div></div>2020-11-13T06:00:00ZNewstext/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town North Florida Hosts Car Caravan for Care Coordination Services Familieshttps://www.boystown.org/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/Pages/Boys-Town-North-Florida-Hosts-Car-Caravan-for-Care-Coordination-Services-Families.aspxBoys Town North Florida Hosts Car Caravan for Care Coordination Services Families<p>To remain connected to the children and families they serve, the Boys Town North Florida Care Coordination Services staff planned car caravans to visit their families from a distance. Over the course of four weeks, the program visited over 25 families and held four different caravans.</p><p>The Care Coordination Services staff worked together to create a plan and a route. They o decorated their cars with positive messages of hope and healing and made their way to the homes of the families. </p><p>Boys Town North Florida staff handed out candy, beads, glow sticks, and bubbles along the caravan routes while music played from the cars. The Leon County Sherriff's Office along with the Gadsden County Sherriff's Office joined the caravan by providing an officer who traveled the routes with the Boys Town staff to ensure the safety of all.</p><p>The car caravans were a huge success by offering an opportunity for consultants to see families in a fun and safe way and to let them know that Boys Town North Florida is with them, even during a pandemic. </p><p> <img src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Picture-1z.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /> <br> </p><p>​<img src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Picture-3z.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /></p>2020-11-06T06:00:00ZNews<img alt="Group Picture" src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Picture-2z.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent