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Showing posts from September, 2012

Troubled Teens “Pay It Forward”

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By Jennifer C. Jones
“Service is the rent we pay for living. It is the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time.” ~ Marian Wright Edelman, Founder, Children’s Defense Fund

Discovery Ranch students are learning that service has benefits beyond what they may have ever before experienced.
Terri Miller, Girls Program Coordinator, says, “When they come here the focus is all on them.” But that focus soon shifts as students participate in a variety of volunteer projects such as planting trees, Sub for Santa, buddy soccer and baseball leagues for children with disabilities, and other service projects. Miller says working, with no thought of “what’s in it for me” has been good for Discovery Ranch students.The buddy sports league pairs a child with a mental or physical disability with a Discovery student.They play side by side throughout the game, Discovery students teaching basic sports skills and cheering their buddies on.

“A lot of our kids have never been around c…

My Experience With Autism

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Guest Blogger
Amanda Schultz
Age 14


I was involved in a Peer Tutoring class at my Jr. High last year, and had the opportunity to work with several of the Special Needs students. It was in the afternoon right after lunch, and I was working with one of the students, Beth, on her math. While she was figuring out one of the problems, I glanced over at William, a little boy who was diagnosed with autism. He was working with the special education teacher.



William has restricted movement/control over his fingers, so the teacher was helping him with some finger activities and exercises. Usually, his task is to pick up pennies, put them into a piggy bank, and then retrieve them again. On that day, however, the teacher gave him a more challenging task. She placed a can of soda on the table, and told him to try and open it. He had different tools like coins and Popsicle sticks to try and pull up the tab. William tried and tried, but he couldn’t get the can to open. He was able to move the tab a li…

Boundaries of the heart - Effective Parenting

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Guest Blogger
by Linda Kavelin Popov

One summer morning, I was speaking at a family retreat center in rural Alberta, when suddenly the excited call rang out, “Moose! Moose!” The adults rushed out of the building to find their children pouring out of their classrooms, racing ahead toward a meadow where a moose and her calf were grazing.

Mother animals in the wild can be dangerously fierce when their young are threatened, and I could feel the alarm in the voices of parents as they yelled, “Don’t run!” The children seemed to hear only the word, “run” as they flew toward the field.



Knowing that children focus better on what we DO want them to do instead of what we don’t want them to do, I looked for a natural boundary, and called out, “Stop at the mowed line and hit the ground!” The children obeyed instantly, skidding to a stop and going down on their stomachs at the mowed edge before the tall grasses of the meadow– a safe distance from Mama Moose and her baby.

As I caught up to them, I…