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Boys Town North Florida Care Coordination Services Program Helps Struggling Youth Town North Florida Care Coordination Services Program Helps Struggling Youth<p>Tyler Chester was admitted to Boys Town North Florida's Care Coordination Services (CCS) Program in 2020. During his initial intake, his mother, Ms. Chester, reported participation with multiple outpatient mental health programs, three previous admissions to the Statewide Inpatient Psychiatric Program (SIPP), and involvement with the local Community Action Team (CAT) for individuals with mental health needs.</p><p>Ms. Chester informed Boys Town North Florida that she was awaiting approval from another SIPP placement in South Florida for her son. His behavior and aggression towards others were out of control and there had been multiple incidents where Tyler had acted aggressively towards family members, resulting in injury. It was reported that the home setting was unsafe because of his escalated behavior, lack of effectiveness of outpatient services, and lack of buy in with mental health providers. </p><p>With the help of a CCS Consultant, a safety plan was created, informal supports were utilized, and Tyler was placed with a family member while they awaited a SIPP placement to become available. </p><p>During this waiting period, Tyler's CCS Consultant advocated for him to have access to services and worked with the public defender's office to get a referral for an anger management counselor. The consultant also assisted Tyler's family in navigating systems, being a support in court and with various providers, and offering empathy during a times of need.</p><p>At the close of services, Tyler had made the A/B Honor role for three consecutive nine week periods. He was also attending anger management counseling weekly, exhibiting self-control in the home setting, and didn't have any incidents or aggression outbursts in the latest reporting period. </p><p>Tyler successfully completed the Care Coordination Program and is expected to remain in the home setting because of his improved behavior.</p>2021-07-28T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Boys Town North Florida" height="243" src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/NorthFlorida-Logo-banner-home.jpg" width="300" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Silas Brothers’ Adoption Success Story Brothers’ Adoption Success Story<p></p><p>T'Antonio and Tony Silas, two brothers from Boys Town North Florida's Foster Family Services program, were able to find their forever home after being adopted by their foster parents, Calvin Ellis and Darlene Cunningham.</p><p>Both brothers were very excited to be adopted and officially become members of the family! Mr. Ellis said he knew he would adopt the boys because they already felt like family and he could not imagine them living anywhere else!</p><p>During the eight years T'Antonio and Tony were in the Foster Family Services program, they thrived in the safe space that Calvin and Darlene provided, where unconditional love and structure were consistently provided. They learned skills that taught them how to express their feelings appropriately and demonstrate good school behaviors.</p><p>Since being adopted, the brothers have enjoyed spending quality time with Calvin and Darlene by playing games and watching movies together. T'Antonio and Tony have been able to maintain contact with their grandmother and brother. Calvin and Darlene are supportive of the brothers maintaining a relationship with their biological family and are happy to participate in any way to continue nourishing those relationships.​<br></p><p><br></p>2021-07-27T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="" src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Silas-Brothers-Adoption.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town North Florida Celebrates End of School Year with Summer Recreation Kick-Off Event Town North Florida Celebrates End of School Year with Summer Recreation Kick-Off Event<p>On June 14, Boys Town North Florida's Family Home Program hosted their annual Summer Recreation Kick-Off party. Each year, their youth celebrate the end of the school year with time to relax and participate in fun summer activities.</p><p>Though this event is a familiar treat for the Boys Town North Florida youth, the staff surprised the kids by bringing the beach to campus. Thanks to Shawn Snyder at American Columbia Co., a large donation of sand was dropped off at ART Town to be used as a beach for the kids to create sandcastles and play different beach games. The kids had a great time competing to build the biggest and best castles! </p><p>The 2021 Summer Recreation Kick-Off party also featured a talent showcase with various performing artists from the local community. Performances ranged from dance numbers to an acting skit and a traditional West African drum group. </p><p>This summer, Boys Town North Florida will incorporate a performing arts theme into their summer recreation curriculum. Youth will partake in different activities including dance, music, acting, and other performing arts. The performers at the kick-off got the youth engaged and excited about their upcoming opportunities to participate in performing arts! </p><p><img src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/NFL-Summer-Kick-Off.jpg" alt="Boys Town North Florida - Summer Kickoff" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p>2021-07-26T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Boys Town North Florida - Summer Kickoff" src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/NFL-Summer-Kick-Off2.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Jersey Mikes Day of Giving 2021 Helps Boys Town North Florida Mikes Day of Giving 2021 Helps Boys Town North Florida<p>​<span style="background-color:transparent;">R</span><span style="background-color:transparent;">ecently, Jersey Mike's Sub Shop hosted their annual “Day of Giving" event to conclude their Month of Giving campaign. During the Month of Giving campaign, Jersey Mike's locations around the country accepted donations for various local nonprofits, and on the final day of the month, over 1,900 Jersey Mike's restaurants committed to donating 100% of their sales to local charities.</span></p><p>Since 2017, Boys Town North Florida has been a recipient of donations from four Tallahassee-area Jersey Mike's locations. With the 2021 Month of Giving and Day of Giving campaigns, Boys Town North Florida was awarded $24,202.20. Since initially partnering in 2017, it is estimated that Jersey Mike's has contributed approximately $76,387 to Boys Town North Florida through their charitable efforts.</p><p>After cancelling the Month of Giving campaign in 2020 due to COVID-19, Jersey Mike's Founder and CEO stated, “We are filled with gratitude and admiration for our customers, franchise owners, and team members who have helped these charities in such a big way, now, when they need it more than ever."</p><p>Boys Town North Florida is grateful to former board member and franchise owner Angelo Crowell for establishing this partnership.<br></p>2021-07-23T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Day of Giving" src="/locations/north-florida/PublishingImages/Day-of-Giving.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Syracuse Junior High Student Council Keeps 15-Year Boys Town Streak Alive Junior High Student Council Keeps 15-Year Boys Town Streak Alive<p>For the second consecutive year, COVID-19 kept the Syracuse Junior High Student Council from making its annual Spring trip to Boys Town. But, just like the previous year, that didn't stop the group from keeping its streak alive.</p><p>Due to the extraordinary and unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, this spring's tour had to be canceled. But while student council sponsor Sallie Agena and her students couldn't be on Home Campus in person, they made sure the part of the visit they felt was very important – a donation to Boys Town – continued.</p><p>Over the past 14 years, the Syracuse Junior High Student Council has generously given a total of $6,500 to the Home. This year, Agena delivered a check for $500 to keep the school's streak of supporting Boys Town alive, and it pushed their 15-year total to $7,000.</p><p>"It is up to our kids to decide where they want to go for their yearly field trip, and where they want to donate the money they have raised over the school year," Agena said. "Ever since our first visit back in 2007, Boys Town has left an impression on our students. They have learned what Boys Town does for children – children that they have learned are just like them. And, they have learned a lot about the Home. Most importantly, they brought that message back to their classmates and it has created a great feeling for Boys Town."</p><p>Over the years, the group would visit a Family Home, Wegner Middle School and the High School, Palrang Field House, the Hall of History, the Headquarters building and Dowd Chapel. A highlight of the tour was a personal meeting and taking a group photo with Father Steven Boes, Boys Town's President and National Executive Director.</p><p>This year, Agena wrote a letter to Father Boes and said she and the Syracuse students are excited to see Boys Town's new Education Center in the future.</p><p>"Your organization has been nothing but a great giver that has helped countless numbers of children and families by giving them hope for a better future," Agena wrote. "The services provided at Boys Town are valuable and necessary. What an exciting project to ensure that all of your students receive the education they so deserve." </p><p>Agena said one thing that always stays with her students is the social skills Boys Town youth learn and use as part of their daily care. </p><p>"When every Boys Town child makes eye contact, introduces themselves and shakes your hand, it leaves a lasting impression," she said. "Every year on our ride home, our kids comment on how the Boys Town youth are nothing like they expected. It gives them a special feeling of what is happening on your campus." </p><p>Agena said she hopes her group can resume its visits next spring. </p><p>"Hopefully, next year the conditions will allow for us to continue this wonderful opportunity for our students," she said.</p>​<br>2021-07-22T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Syracuse Donation" src="/locations/nebraska/PublishingImages/Syracuse-Donation.jpeg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> <img alt="syracuse donation" src="/locations/nebraska/PublishingImages/Syracuse-Donation.jpeg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town South Florida Presents at National Conferences Town South Florida Presents at National Conferences<p>Boys Town South Florida continues to make itself known as a leader within the ParentChild+ service array. ParentChild+ Supervisor Bianca Payton was selected to present at this year's National ParentChild+ Conference in May on the topic of "Strategies to Help Incorporate Developmental Parenting in ParentChild+ Visits."</p><p><em>Developmental Parenting: A Guide for Early Childhood Practitioners </em>is a book that shares the research from Utah State University on the attitudes, behaviors and content that contribute to the greatest outcomes for children and families, or 'best practices' in the field of home visiting. Since 2016, the Palm Beach County ParentChild+ program has been implementing these strategies.</p><p>During Bianca's workshop, which was a Palm Beach County Collaborative, presenters shared tweaks that were made to home visits, in person and virtually, that encourage Developmental Parenting. The attendees of the workshop found it helpful to see the Early Learning Specialists applying the concepts and language in the videos of their home sessions. They also valued the simplicity of the tweaks that were made and the tip sheet that was provided.</p><p>This was the fifth year the ParentChild+ program leadership at Boys Town South Florida presented at this national conference on innovative topics related to best practices in the field of home visiting. In May of last year, ParentChild+ Director Jennifer Abaid, joined the Palm Beach County Collaborative to present on "Making the Shift to Virtual ParentChild+ Visits During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Palm Beach County's Response."</p><p>Jennifer also presented at another national conference through the Institute for the Advancement of Family Support Professionals on the topic of "Parent Child Interaction: Observing and Listening in the Virtual Environment." This was a Rapid Response – Virtual Home Visiting Collaborative that provided best practice principles and strategies to support all home visiting professionals in maintaining meaningful connections with families during this time of increased anxiety and need.</p><p>Boys Town South Florida's ParentChild+ program is a research-proven program that enhances a child's early development to prepare them for primary school. Families start this program when their children are between the age of 21 months and 42 months. Each program year has 23 weeks of home visits. Research has shown families benefit the most by spending 46 weeks in the program. The child will complete the program between the ages of three and four as they transition into a pre-K or Head Start program.</p><p>The ParentChild+ program works by matching an Early Learning Specialist with a family. Two visits are then scheduled with the family every week. Early Learning Specialists bring parents appropriate tools and materials, such as individually selected books, educational toys, and activities, all of which promote verbal interactions, parent-child bonding and school readiness.</p><p>"We are so pleased to have our program recognized as a leader with implementing this model of care," said Bethany Lacey, Executive Director for Boys Town South Florida. "ParentChild+ aligns so well with the Boys Town Mission and we are grateful for the continued good work we are able to do with this program here in South Florida."</p><p>The Boys Town South Florida ParentChild+ program is funded by the Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County and led by the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County.</p>2021-07-22T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Boys Town South Florida Team" src="/locations/south-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/PCPartyPic.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Patrick Garcia Selected Board President for the Coalition of Children and Families of Iowa Garcia Selected Board President for the Coalition of Children and Families of Iowa<p>Boys Town would like to congratulate Patrick Garcia, Boys Town Iowa's Executive Director, for being selected as the Board President for the Coalition of Children and Families of Iowa. </p><p>The Coalition of Children and Families of Iowa is a collection of providers that provide a range of mental health, child welfare, juvenile justice, and other social services to children and families in need. </p><p>In Patrick's new role as Board President, he will serve as the official spokesperson for the Coalition and chair the Executive Committee. He will also collaborate with the Executive Director and other members of the Board to execute a strategic plan for the Coalition. </p><p>"I am very honored to be asked to serve as the President of the Coalition's Board of Directors.", said Patrick. "The Coalition is a collective membership of providers for the children and family services in Iowa that works for system change. The Coalition consistently works toward keeping families together when it is safe to do so and ensuring high quality out of home care when it is necessary to remove a child from their home. The Coalition has become the platform for the Private Public partnership with the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justices systems in Iowa. This opportunity will allow me to continue to lead and influence how Iowa cares for its children and families."</p><p>Boys Town is very thankful for Patrick and his dedication to being an advocate for children and families in Iowa. </p>2021-07-22T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Patrick Garcia" src="/locations/iowa/PublishingImages/Pat-Garcia-Photo_web.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town North Florida Youth Compete in Debate Tournament Town North Florida Youth Compete in Debate Tournament<p>Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Desmond Crayton, Director of Boys Town North Florida's Family Home Program, wanted to normalize the virtual learning experience for the youth on campus by offering extra-curricular activities after the school day. Desmond wanted to provide something unique, yet challenging, as an outlet for youth to partake in where they could learn and have fun.</p><p>“Our kids are talented and a part of our role is to bring that talent they possess to the forefront," said Desmond. With that in mind, Desmond proposed the idea of having a debate team.</p><p>Since Fall of 2020, residents in the Family Home Program have been attending weekly volunteer-led afterschool programs as a fun, extracurricular experience to offset the impact in their own lives from COVID-19. The debate club met each Tuesday afternoon at ART Town and would participate in mock-debates. </p><p>Nicole Sandoval, President of the Florida State Debate Team, volunteered her time to coach the team and teach students about participating in debate.</p><p> <img src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Debate-2.jpg" alt="Boys Town Kids Debate" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin-right:10px;width:450px;height:300px;" />“Debate has given me immense opportunities, allowing me to grow and learn in ways I never would have," said Nicole. “I know that debate opens doors for students, and I was fortunate enough to have the resources in school to complete regularly. Now, I want to use my experience and pass along the benefits of debate to students who would not have access to it otherwise."</p><p>After working closely with the debate students for several months, Nicole suggested hosting an internal tournament to further allow the participants to understand the structure and enjoyment that debate provides. </p><p>On Saturday, May 8, 2021, Boys Town North Florida's Family Home Program hosted their first ever debate tournament at ART Town. Seven students participated in the tournament. Students were paired against one another to engage in timed and judged rounds with topics varying from “Does technology do more harm than good?" to “Should uniforms be required in schools?" and “Should standardized testing be abolished?" Rounds lasted between 10 to 35 minutes as the debaters prepared and presented their arguments. The tournament consisted of five rounds, one of which was the finale between the two highest-rated contestants. </p><p><img src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Debate-3.jpg" alt="Boys Town Kids Debate" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px;width:450px;height:300px;" />Judges were asked to unbiasedly rate the debater's performances with a few criteria in mind: presentation, persuasion, rebuttal, cross-examination questioning, and closing statements. Upon judges' decisions on highest ranking debaters, three individual top placers were selected.</p><p>All participants were awarded a certificate for participating in the debate and members had lunch with Desmond where they each received a gift bag. </p><p>Ruby, a youth at Boys Town North Florida who participated on the debate team said, “I loved debate because it helped me open up and get out of my shell. It helped me realize I would enjoy being a lawyer one day."</p><p>Boys Town North Florida looks forward to hosting more debate functions in the upcoming future and plans to challenge other Boys Town sites to form their own debate teams as well. </p><p><img src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Debate-4.jpg" alt="Boys Town Kids Debate" style="margin:5px;" /><img src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Debate-5.jpg" alt="Boys Town Kids Debate" style="margin:5px;width:300px;" /><br></p>2021-07-20T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Boys Town Kids Debate" src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Debate-1.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Summer Reading Kick-Off: Boys Town North Florida Hosts Annual Book Fair and Book-Nic Reading Kick-Off: Boys Town North Florida Hosts Annual Book Fair and Book-Nic<p>​“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.” – Dr. Seuss</p><p>On June 26, Boys Town North Florida held its 2nd Annual Book Fair to promote reading, support youth development and literacy, and to just have fun! <br></p><p>Color in STEM, Eduprehd Research & Development Partners, FCRR, NCIL, and Maya’s Book Nook donated over 350 books, collectively, for the event, while scholars from the Tallahassee Area Center of Excellence National Achievers Society, returned as volunteers for the event.</p><p>Youth had a great time browsing a wide selection of diverse books from a range of genres. Each youth found “the one” book of their very own to take home to read during the summer months. Thanks to Ventris Learning, each youth also received a copy of the “Kayla Chronicles”, a comic book series promoting grit in literacy and overcoming difficulties in learning to read. After selecting their books, youth and families enjoyed a Book-Nic lunch for the day.</p><p>The book fair kicked off a series of events associated with Boys Town North Florida’s Literacy Initiative. “We are grateful for FCRR, FSU, and NCIL- our literacy partners – who created the “Kayla Chronicles”, as well as the Boys Town North Florida staff and partners who have supported this event over the years, all partnering to provide a range of literacy activities to enhance the academic success of youth in North Florida’s care,” said Marcus Lampkin, Boys Town North Florida’s Executive Director. </p><p><span><span><img src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/NFL-Book-Fair-2.jpg" alt="Boys Town North Florida - Book fair" style="margin:5px;width:467px;" /><br></span></span></p><p><span><span></span></span><img src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/NFL-Book-Fair-3.jpg" alt="Boys Town North Florida - Book Fair" style="margin:5px;" /> </p><p><span><img src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/NFL-Book-Fair-5.jpg" alt="Boys Town North Florida - Book Fair" style="margin:5px;" /></span><img src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/NFL-Book-Fair-4.jpg" alt="Boys Town North Florida - Book fair" style="margin:5px;" /> </p><p><br></p>2021-07-14T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Boys Town North Florida - Book Fair" src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/NFL-Book-Fair-.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Easter Joy for Boys Town North Florida Family Home Youth Joy for Boys Town North Florida Family Home Youth<p>​Community Volunteer Ms. Macy Harper, a.k.a., The Easter Bunny, was very generous this year to the 30 boys and girls living at Boys Town North Florida’s campus. With the help of other individuals and families, Ms. Harper delivered custom designed Easter baskets made with each child’s age and gender in mind.</p><p>Boys Town wasn’t the only beneficiary of her generosity. In total, more than 150 children in the Tallahassee area received baskets. According to Ms. Harper, it was a team effort with more than 40 families, friends, and colleagues getting involved. “They either made baskets with their kids or donated money to make a basket for $15 each. Or they donated supplies and candy.” </p><p>Ms. Harper serves as Guardian Ad Litem for the 2nd Judicial Circuit and a mentor for kids attending Title 1 schools in Leon County. In addition, she also has a day job as a Blockchain Lobbyist. After touring the Boys Town North Florida campus and meeting a few of the Easter Basket recipients, she immediately signed up through the Birthday Buddy program to sponsor a youth. “I cannot tell you how rewarding it is,” said Harper. “A lot of people have asked me how much time I spent on this project. I always say it feels like I didn’t spend a minute because this has been the most fun I have had in my entire life.”</p><p>Boys Town is very thankful for Ms. Harper and her generous heart. Because of her generosity, Easter was a little more special this year for the youth at Boys Town North Florida.</p>​<br>2021-06-30T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="" src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/easter-basket-sml-banner.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent

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