Tag Archives: CareFirst

Youth Center Update: Hornell Area Concern for Youth

How do you put a value on something as great as the Garden of Fire!?

Our kids absolutely love it!  I must be honest,  I (Paul Shephard, Director of Hornell Area Concern for Youth) have never attempted a blog before but I feel compelled to make it more of a thank you to all involved.

For our agency to be associated with such a wonderful museum as The Rockwell is just so exciting for our staff and our kids! Amy Ruza and  Gigi Alvaré are such a pleasure to work with and have such a great way of connecting with our kids. The initial intro in which Gigi read her story and Amy added the sound effects is always great, and the way they involved the kids as animal characters was awesome.  Then, of course Ian Mclaughlin from Tanglewood bringing in his many animals and educating our kids on this years’ theme  of water was frosting on the cake.

Our kids loved the trip to The Rockwell for the clay animal sculpture project as well. They all commented on loving the messiness of it and how relatively easy it was to sculpt their animals with Amy’s direction.  I tried to make my sculpture in the shape of a buffalo as I am a big Bills fan but the final product resembled some sort of psychotic rabbit… at least I tried!

I would also like to put a “shout out” to Tara Chapman who came to our Canisteo location for the Rain Stick project. She was a great sport to put up with my music and disco lighting for the event… the kids loved her and enjoyed making their own personal rain stick !!   They all made great rain sticks that made beautiful rain noises when used… whereas mine ended up sounding more like a cat in a tornado.

Our trip out to Tanglewood was also very enjoyable. Ian took us on hikes and showed us the many animals there.  The kids loved the Bee presentation, though the giant turtle was their favorite. A big thanks to Sue Spencer for the engaging drum circle that day as well. Our kids stood up and danced like crazy, and Sue never skipped a beat. Well done !

Finally, last week, we took the bus to CareFirst for a natural elements building session with Tony Moretti and Gwen Quigley. They were true professionals, and inspired our kids into making a 7-foot tall water sculpture made from tree bark, branches and other forms of nature in which the water would travel. It reminded me of the old board game Mouse Trap… does that show my age?? The kids were able to saw, hammer, glue and paint their way to the finished product. Many of them said how proud they were to have structured something so massive.

As usual the summer has gone by soooooo swiftly. We are looking forward to the final celebration this Friday!

WindTunnel4Paul Shephard (That’s me on the right!)
Hornell Area Concern for Youth

Rain Sticks: Music & Metaphor

In culture and literature from around the world, water represents emotions and obstacles that we need to overcome.

Water comes in all forms.  It can be intense and powerful like with hurricanes, floods and tsunamis; or it can soft and calming like a gentle rain or a babbling brook.

Our emotions work exactly the same way. Difficult life events can be destructive and leave us feeling overwhelmed. Positive life events can leave us feeling at peace. In order to learn how to cope with these emotions, we have to first be able to understand them. Using water as a metaphor can help us do that effectively.

This year for the CareFirst Garden of Fire program, youth participants will be making their very own rain stick as we talk about their emotions and how to cope with them.

Each group will engage in discussion about the history of rain sticks and the cycle of how emotion connects to their personal lives, the community we share and the cycle of re-shaping the earth and regrowth that occur in nature. The cycle of emotion will be connected by demonstrating the relationship between rain and emotions.

Each child will construct and decorate individual rain sticks using animals in nature that they feel best relate to their emotions. A bear could signify anger that they feel or strength and courage within oneself; a chameleon could be interpreted as smart and resourceful to blend into its current surroundings in basic survival.

The sounds made by the rain sticks can also be used to symbolize ones emotions for that time. For example, water can create a gentle or intense sound, which can be used to symbolize ones emotions.

We look forward to The Garden of Fire festival, when all of the children will be together, and will have the opportunity to use their rain sticks to create music as a group.

Tara Chapman
Grief Services Coordinator, CareFirst

2016: Summer of Water!

Last week, Garden of Fire partners met at The Rockwell Museum to finalize many details about programming and discussed aspects of this year’s theme of WATER. 

We are all very excited to be flowing into year three of this wonderful program for youth in our area . Water is essential to the existence of life and can be a great symbol of the relationship between all living things.

More than half of the human body is composed of water and about 71% of planet earth is water. Water can move through just about anything and over time can carve canyons.

Drop by drop, little by little, in the lives of children and teens who participate in the program, we hope to help open a stream of expression through the arts and a sense of wonder through the science that can move through their entire lives.

Participants can look forward to many water-themed projects and programs. For example, as the youth centers grow their gardens, they’ll work with Tanglewood Nature Center and learn about how crucial water is for gardens to grow, and how plants adapt to different climates based on availability of water in their natural habitat.IMG_8341

At The Rockwell, students will make their own Clay Animal Garden Sculptures, created with symbolism meant to protect and grow their garden. With CareFirst, students will make their own rain sticks in conjunction with reflection on internal growth.

We are so excited to launch this summer’s program – it can’t come soon enough! Look for the full summer schedule coming soon. Until then….

 

Gigi1
Gigi Alvare, Director of Education

The Rockwell Museum