Thursday, November 29, 2012

Jim Hoyt Receives Blesher for His Ingenuity

On November 28th, Jim Hoyt, Operations Manager at RFI received a Blesher award.  He was nominated for this award by Ailisa Boyer who cited Jim’s creativity and hard work in developing a tool that was used at a transition services event held at Sidney High School.  Several service organizations including The Arc of Delaware County (Delarc), had information booths at this event. Ailisa wanted something to bring to the event that would highlight the fact that at Delarc, transition services is all about the personal approach to helping people achieve their individual goals. She said, “Jim’s construction helped give Delarc an edge when presenting to the community in an interesting way. Jim worked on this on his own free time at home. “
It was apparent that the “Wheel of Future” created by Jim had much thought put into its design.  “The wheel construction was effective, creative, and easy to work with” Ailisa wrote in her nomination. Jim also created a template that could be used by other departments within the agency.
Jim’s dedicated efforts at creating the “Wheel of Future” exemplify the 6 unifying principles of The Arc of Delaware County:
  • Those We Serve Come First
  • Commit To Excellence
  • Be Dedicated
  • Employee Satisfaction
  • Communicate Effectively
  • Be Innovative
Congratulations Jim!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Making Her Mark Volunteering In Her Community

Marisa Romano is a poised young lady who knows her mind. She considers herself a “self advocate” and pursues her interests with purpose and drive. Marisa shared, “I really like to work with kids and I do a good job with them.” She said that she knew these things about herself from the enjoyment she experienced caring and playing with her young cousins. So, through connections made through a program Marisa participates in, Resources For Industry, arrangements were made for her to volunteer at the Hancock Community Children’s Center Preschool Program. Marisa resides in Cadosia and helping at the center enables her be an integral part of her local community. She has volunteered at the program for over 3 years and has formed strong bonds with the other volunteers as well as the children she works with

The Hancock Community Foundation provides “Birth to College” support for children in Hancock. And the Hancock Community Children’s Center is an important part of the network of supports offered through this foundation.  The center provides care for children in 2 programs: birth through age 3 and the preschool program serving children ages 3-5. Currently the Preschool program has 22 children enrolled.  Linda O’Brien, Executive Director shared some impressive statistics that measure the success of these programs. As this is the 12th year of the program, the seeds that were sown at the start have now produced an increase in graduation rate from 36% to 79%. The teachers at the Hancock Elementary School can readily identify those children that had participated in the Children’s Center by their readiness, knowledge, and skills acquired prior to attending Elementary school.

Marisa begins her day at the preschool program at 8:30am. She is in charge of teaching the children their numbers and days of the week during a daily review of a large wall calendar. She also enjoys selecting and reading a story to them during story time and assisting them with their arts and crafts activities. She gently corrects and provides praise while encouraging questions and interaction.  Barbara Leonard one of the center’s Directors said, “Marisa has a beautiful singing voice and when there are songs, sometimes the children would stop singing just to listen to Marisa’s voice”.

Marisa shared the thing that surprised her most about her child care experience is how different the children are year to year. She loves meeting each new child and knows the feeling is mutual. At the end of her day, “the children don’t want me to leave.”  This was proved true when she left after our interview. Several children ran and hugged her and all said “goodbye Marisa” in unison as she left. Heather McAdams, Life Coach at Resources for Industry who supports Marisa observed, “Marisa is awesome with the kids! I just step back and watch her work with them.”

In addition to her volunteer work at the center, Marisa is very proud of being a self advocate and helping others become self advocates; she “speaks up for people’s rights.” She also enjoys spending time with friends and playing Bingo.
To view more photos of Marisa at the Hancock Community Children's Center visit our Flickr site at: