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Riverside heads to Feed my Starving Children

THE BOYS AT RIVERSIDE LEARNED A LESSON OR TWO AND WHILE LENDING A HELPING HAND

This month some residents of Northwest Passage Riverside made a real and tangible difference in the lives of children around the world. They did so by donating their time and money to the Coon Rapids-based charity “Feed My Starving Children.”

Students had been studying about South America and Africa in geography class. In addition to learning about the interesting physical features and positive cultural aspects of these continents, students were introduced to the harsh reality of severe poverty that sometimes afflicts children and adults in these (and other) parts of the world.

The goal of the lessons on poverty was not to heap guilt or hopelessness upon our residents, but rather to raise awareness and to prepare them to make a real difference by turning a situation of despair into one of hope.

In preparation for the field trip, residents were given the opportunity to donate their hard-earned “school bucks” (our incentive program at the Riverside School). Many of our students responded to the call and donated a total of $62.75 to the cause of feeding hungry people around the world. (The students’ school bucks were traded in for real dollars at a healthy exchange rate).

At the facility we were given a brief orientation to the goals and impact of Feed My Starving Children and the procedures for making the food packs. After this, three staff with 11 residents helped to scoop, weigh, bag, seal, and box meal packs that were going to be shipped to needy areas around the world. The food packs (called “Manna Packs”) consisted of a vitamin mix, dried vegetables, soy filler, and rice. The cost to produce one of these packs, which make 6 – 12 servings, is a mere 22 cents. The low cost is partially due to the fact that much of the labor needed to produce the Manna Packs is completed by volunteers – like our group of boys from NWP Riverside. Our young men worked energetically and cooperatively to produce numerous boxes of potentially life-saving meals. One resident was so focused on his task in the effort that he refused to take a water break. And while our residents were engaged in serious work, they also had a lot of fun volunteering at the facility with other local school groups. They enthusiastically cheered whenever they completed a box and some of them even felt comfortable enough to loudly sing along to some songs being piped through the facility speakers.

At the conclusion of our shift, we were thanked for our hard work and donation. We also were given a sample of the Manna Pack meals that we had been making. The director of the facility then shared the total number of packs produced at the facility during the shift – enough to provide over 35,000 meals. While this effort involved more than our small group of students, I am very proud of our residents’ contributions in time, energy, and resources to make it happen.

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Together against bullying

UNITED FOR KINDNESS, ACCEPTANCE AND INCLUSION

#unityday2015

160,000 students skip school each day because of bullying and 3.2 million students are bullied each year. Students who experience bullying are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, and poor school adjustment (pacer.org).

At Northwest Passage, we work hard to teach our residents compassion and kindness. Through daily programming, weekly groups and special events, the girls at Prairieview are given many opportunities to learn and practice positive social behaviors that foster empathy and tolerance.

For example, the girls participate in a weekly character development group that covers a variety of traits including: compassion, empathy, respect, tolerance, attitude, preparation, honesty, integrity, self-control, and responsibility. The group allows for a safe space for discussion and personal growth through discussion, activities and weekly homework. The girls also have weekly unit goals that target their interpersonal skills while in treatment, focusing on effective communication and respect for others.

On October 21, 2015, Unity Day was celebrated nationwide and Prairieview participated in full force. The girls participated in a variety of activities including t-shirt decorating and team chalk murals. All staff members were involved as well, with every person in the building wearing orange t-shirts that they personally decorated. The chalk mural project challenged the girls to make a final product that showcased their individual talents as well as their ability to problem solve and work together. 16 residents were split up in to teams and given blank chalkboard canvases and a picture that they had to re-create. The process was amazing to watch and unfolded beautifully. Initially, the teams struggled to communicate and respect each other’s comfort levels with the task. Many groups had to start over while others had to make adjustments throughout the process to keep their artwork consistent. The girls spent several hours working on their pieces and strived for perfection. The murals exceeded all expectations and allowed for very productive, creative and fun team building project. The girls beamed with pride, showing off big smiles as staff expressed their excitement over the finished products. The murals are now hung around the building, reminding all staff and residents on a daily basis that when all differences are set aside, you can work together and be successful!

Your donations make projects like this possible. You are with us when we are teaching these teens to respect each other and show compassion and kindness to everyone they meet. You make it happen. Anything you give makes a difference. Thank you for your support.

Northwest Passage is dedicated to the social care of our kids. This is done through events like Unity Day, where they are taught not to bully their peers, but instead to show respect for all people.

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Prairieview Super Heroines Run in Monster Dash

On Friday October 20, the Prairieview ladies ran the 5K Monster Dash in Cumberland, WI.  The ladies have been training hard, getting up early to run during the week.   They have demonstrated such dedication, it seems, due to having something to look forward to (mastery), while running also helps to regulate emotions and improve mood.  The group decided on being super heroines, to celebrate empowerment and self-acceptance.

Lisa Courchaine, CAPSW, Mental Health Clinician

 


At Northwest Passage, our mental health clinician’s go beyond just typical office therapy in working with our youth. They like to incorporate all of the many things that help to keep people mentally healthy, including physical activity. The mind and body are connected, so when one is healthy the other is healthier too. It is much easier to deal with life’s problems and challenges when your body is active because it lifts your mood. Physical activity can also act an antidepressant.

Riverside Citizen Scientists!

The residents of Northwest Passage Riverside were given an awesome opportunity to volunteer their time to the St. Croix National Scenic River way. Through the “Citizen Science” project, the Algae Alert Network, select residents of NWP Riverside traveled to Norway Point Landing, located on the St. Croix River, from July and September,  to study the presence of  Algal blooms on the river way.
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Northwest Passage’s Caleb Melton wins Excellence in Service award!

Northwest Passage Child and Adolescent Center is excited to announce that long time staff, Caleb Melton, has been awarded the prestigious, “Excellence in Service Award” from the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP).

The Excellence in Service Award highlights the outstanding front-line staff that serve organizations that provide residential, therapeutic, and education services to children and adolescents. Recipients of the award play vital roles behind the scenes and deserve to be recognized for their work to help change the world, one child at a time. We thank you Caleb for your years of service and your “Sure, anything I can do to help!” attitude.

Our program director, Ellen Race wrote a glowing letter of recommendation for Caleb that captured his essence of excellence. We especially liked the following quote, but you can read the letter in entirety here: Caleb Melton’s Letter of Recommendation

“Caleb has had a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of kids during his time with Northwest Passage and has become a role model for new staff members. We could not be more proud of having Caleb on our team.”

The announcement can be found on NATSAP’s website here: 2015 Midwest Regional Conference Excellence in Service Award Recipient Caleb Melton

Caleb Melton is from Shell Lake Wisconsin, and has been a valued Northwest Passage team member for 15 years. He was awarded the Excellence in Service Award at the 2015 NATSAP Midwest Regional Conference Clayton Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, on Friday, September 11, 2015.
Congratulations Caleb!

Passage Foundation awards $6200 to past clients

April 23rd marked the first Passage Foundation Board meeting of the year. The Board, comprised of various community members and Northwest Passage Staff, reviewed Scholarship applications from 4 past clients, awarding a grand total of $6200.

The funds will be used for everything from school tuition to rent expenses.

I wanted to update you on the fun and exciting things going on with the Passage Foundation!  We met yesterday and awarded money to 2 Northwest Passage Clients and 2 Northwest Journey Clients.

Jalyn W. received up to $2500/semester for her first year at UW-Superior.  She will be studying Psychology/Social Work.  Jalyn has overcome a lot lately (death of her mother and horse) and is still using her skills and working hard to be successful!

Alexa G. received an award of $2700.00 to help her buy clothing and establish her first apartment.  She has two jobs in the food service industry and this will really help her continue her positive efforts.  She doesn’t have a lot of supports, so Emily and Amanda have helped her a lot in this process!

Northwest Journey Approved $500 awards for Noah P. and Eric A, who are both are attending college.

Eric will by studying  gunsmithing, and Noah is pursuing a degree in Bible Studies.

Huge Congratulations to all of these great kids!!!  Remember, without your efforts and guidance, would likely not be where they are today!

Update regarding the Passage Foundation:

We meet in the Spring and Fall of each year.  Clients need to be out of the program for at least 6 months and be making efforts to be successful, law abiding and healthy individuals in their communities.  They can be 14, 24 or 34 years old and still apply and be eligible for an award.

Each time one of your kids calls back to update you on their efforts since discharge or to tell you a fun story, or look for advice, Please remind them about the Foundation!  Applications are in the public folders and on the website.  We are also looking into better ways to keep everyone informed and thinking about The Passage Foundation.

The Board currently consists of the following people, so feel free to ask them questions as well:

Rob Lillehaug

Himanshu Agrawal

Seth Pearson

Denny Tucker

Melissa Williams

Terry Larsen

Emily Gall

And Mandy O’Malley (me)

Girls finish strong in 5K

Three Prairieview girls participated in the third annual Webster Education Foundation 5K on Saturday, August 8. The Webster Education Foundation funds enrichment projects in Webster that enhance educational programs; it was a great event for the girls to participate in!

Week after week, the three girls got up earlier than any of their peers in order to train for the event. They started the race at the Webster High School at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning and each of them finished in the top of their age groups. Ndolo (No. 169) finished first in her age group, Alexis (No. 170) finished second in her age group, and Lydia (No. 173) finished second in her age group.

They showed dedication in both training and participating. Several members of the staff ran alongside the girls while others greeted them at the finish line, supporting them every step of the way.


Physical activity is a priority at all Northwest Passage programs because regular physical activity is not only good for the kids’ bones and muscles, but it also helps to reduce feelings of depression and anxiety and promote overall psychological well-being.

Passage boys place at local race

The boys of Northwest Passage Riverside ran in the City of Trails Trail Run 5K during St. Croix Falls’ Wannigan Days celebration! The team has been training hard in the mornings under the leadership of our dedicated staff: Josh, Ryan, Reid and Austin.

Our residents: Garrett, Westin, Logan, and Carlos had great attitudes and put forth outstanding effort despite getting rained during the race. The boys started in the back of the pack and still managed to grab race places! Garrett placed 2nd in his age group and 5th in the overall race, Josh placed 2nd in his age group and 6th in the overall race, and as a team the boys received a golden shoe to celebrate that they were the fastest team!

Ashley and I were able to work with our residents Andre and Holden to capture some of the memories. We’ll get the photos uploaded soon.

Sarah Bach, M.S. Weekend Supervisor 

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