The Healthier Jupiter Mini-Grant served as a catalyst for our organization to bring the benefits of boxing – exercise, discipline, and fun – to young students throughout the Jupiter area. The boxing program brought together students from all walks of life. The best part was seeing students laugh and learn lessons that they will be able to take with them for the rest of their lives. I believe I speak for other volunteers and coaches when I say it is incredibly rewarding to see a student experience a light bulb moment when they see how they can apply lessons learned through sports and apply those lessons to their daily lives.
Glee and wide-eyed enthusiasm are not typical descriptors of middle school students, but I can honestly say that’s what is seen on competition days. Five minutes of “fitness training” every class period has given most students the confidence and motivation to use their new skills to become class champions for the week. Even better, some participate to improve upon their personal best! When reluctant students state that they actually enjoyed competing I congratulate them for doing something outside their comfort zone. Having the students choose the events helps with “buy-in;” reflecting on what worked and didn’t strengthen critical thinking, persuasion, cooperation, and compromise which help improve the next iteration. Although many don’t like to complete the fitness homework log, I am frequently told about more time being spent being active than playing video games! Several students come into class excited for the “First5Fit!” workout, and the challenging behaviors have been reduced. On the days we have competitions, participation and performance on the weekly quiz increases for most students! This project has helped me as an educator as well as my own physical fitness and well-being. I have experienced growth in skills and confidence that I did not anticipate. Sharing the experience with my students has improved our relationship, which is key to student engagement. I look forward to continuing the practice as long as I am in the classroom!
I recently taught a Drum Circle Class at Vita Nova. Everyone learned the basic skills so quickly, leading to a very fluid session. I enjoyed getting to know everyone’s stories and how music played a role in their lives. My favorite moment was when each person shared a song that meant a lot to them; they then tried to duplicate the beat on their drums with everyone else following. I would definitely be open to working with Vita Nova in the future, they are an amazing group of people doing impactful work in our community.
Sister to Sister Palm Beach State College – In March we had two events. One was Nutrition. My name is Sherry Fletcher and I am the coordinator of the program but I am also a registered dietitian and we reviewed some information about the credentials of a dietitian/nutritionist and some basic nutrition information with Mentors and Mentees. It was interesting because one of the Mentors is our Director of our RN to BSN program. It was nice to see that she was backing up the information I was trying to get across to the audience and her knowledge about nutrition. We made a great team. Mentors and Mentees attended the final Money Skills sessions from PNC Bank at this session the discussion was how to protect yourself from fraud. It was interesting to hear how some of the students had the personal information almost stolen or altered. Many of the students felt that both sessions were beneficial to them.
I recently was really worried about the artist submissions for the ball. At first we have only 12 submissions. Then we had 24 submissions as of March 26. I was worried that we would not have a lot of people to sign up (since the Call to Art was over with on the 5th of April). Two days before the call ended, I was notified that we had over 108 submissions! This was all thanks to the marketing from myself, the reposting from different orgs like BeWell and the Arts Warehouse. I also spent time everyday emailing different artists and art galleries about the art call. So hard work pays off. On Friday, we started to narrow down the artwork. There are sooo many talented artists out there. Im so blessed to know that I played a small role in them submitting. Im happy they took the event seriously. Seeing 108 submissions really gave me back my motivation for the event.
My process is going better now that we have launched the art call. Since February, we have had over 12 organizations sign up to be involved, and over 25 artists have submitted to the art call.
Dovecot Farm hosted the second Barn to Bedside retreat on Saturday 27th March.
The group comprised Clinical Director and therapists from the Addiction/ Recovery industry in Palm Beach County.
The agenda was the same as the St Mary’s team. All participants completed their DISC before the retreat. Similar wear & tear on the S column – this relates to the PACE of work/ environment. We held an open discussion on COMPASSION FATIGUE, the therapists were openly talking about experiencing burnout.
The Clinical Director is a huge fan of drumming circles in group therapy so he lead that activity. It was fun!
It was clear that this team really needed to decompress- the sound healing piece at the end was very healing, the team all completely relaxed. Fascinating!
It was a busy week with two retreats only a few days apart. However, the program delivered! I am really happy with the feedback and impact we made.
I am delighted that Barn to Bedside retreats is resonating with our target audience.
Caregivers/ medical / health workers were reaching burnout before the challenges of covid. Now it’s firmly at the top of the agenda.
Therapists are willing and open to discuss burnout. They are looking for solutions, they are open to this kind of wellness/leadership retreat.
Feedback from the LMHC and therapists:
“AMAZING! I loved the DISC, sound healing, kindness/ thoughtfulness.”
“Thank you…Different ways to achieve mindfulness.”
“I really enjoyed the program. Safe space, clarity and organization, peace.”
“This was incredible. It fits perfectly with my approach to therapy. Thank you so much.”
“DISC, guided meditation, knowledge on equine assisted therapy and equine emotional intelligence. This was exactly what I needed at exactly the right time.”
“Amazing work. Keep it up! I loved everything.”
“I wouldn’t change anything. I loved all the process. I appreciated all the healing process.”
“An incredibly beautiful and moving experience. Thank you so much.”
“The sound bath…”
Dovecot Farm hosted Barn to Bedside retreat for a leadership team from St Mary’s Hospital Medical Center on Wednesday 24th March.
We incorporated a blend of equine interactions, DISC self awareness, sound healing and drumming as well as HeartMath breathing techniques and nature therapy.
It was a full day retreat with much needed healing for our healers.
Many significant highlights from the team retreat. I think what was significant was using the DISC framework to bring up the burnout issue amongst our frontliners. There was transparency and openness in our discussion about ‘self-compassion’ matters. The S score difference on the natural and adapted columns indicate burnout / wear & tear. It allowed me to bring up burnout in a sensible, factual numbers-related way.
Second highlight is the massively popular feedback on the sound healing session. I incorporated an integral sound healing approach with multi-instruments. Wow. Every single participant went into a deeply meditative state of relaxation. I was concerned that sound healing may be perceived as too ‘woo woo’ for this audience. I was very surprised that the mix of releasing and harmonious sounds had a wonderful impact, re-booting their autonomic nervous systems. Delighted with the feedback. Barn to Bedside received wonderful feedback from all who came. I am over the moon.
There have been three workshops that have occurred since the first sensemaker update I believe. There wasn’t the turnout of youth that I was hoping for and it has been very hard to get to youth to come to the events. At the beginning of the grant I had another co-worker helping with the grant. They are no longer with the company so that has been an added difficulty as they are not longer they to help with coordinating the events. The poetry event was awesome. It was amazing to work on the community poems. I loved how they all turned out and were each so unique. I have my on my bulletin board in my office. It was such a great way to get insight into some of our youth without having to be serious or have some sit down in depth discussion. It made me feel and I hope it helped others to feel part of a community and valued. To know that someone (hopefully) put thought into what you, then others, had written before adding to your poem was very special. I would have to be able to do this again in the future. This seemed to be the workshop that had the most youth at it and that the youth seemed to enjoy the most. I gave the youth blank notebooks at the end of the workshop and I am really hoping that they will continue to use writing as a creative outlet. The photography workshop went nothing like planned. I wanted to have the youth get their headshots taken and talk about how you can express yourself thought photos, what you can learn about someone through a photo, and how to show your/ help others express their unique personality in a photo. There were only a few youth that showed up and a majority of them did not want headshots taken so the facilitators had to improve and mainly focused on what to do when taking photos of others. The advantage of this was that the facilitators were able to talk about how to get to know the subjects you are photographing and helping them get comfortable and express themselves. I was then able to turn this back to the importance of expressing our true selves. They also were able to discuss the value of capturing organic moments. The monologue event was great. It was a zoom online workshop due to covid numbers being higher at that time. I had accidentally made the event on Eventbrite public for a period of time. We ended up having a youth from Germany join us. It was amazing to see that even though the youth that attended didn’t know each other they were able to seem comfortable with each other in a short period of time. It was such a heartwarming experience to watch them practicing their monologues and amazing to watch them perform them for the group at the end. The next workshop is coming up soon and while I am excited I am also nervous about the attendance. I want to maximize the mini grants funds and help as many youth as I can. I hope that the last three workshops and the events in June have a bigger turn out and that they are able to reach more youth to have as much as an impact on the youth in the county as possible.
The mini grant allowed me to get my “back of store” in order, which includes signing up for and using a new streamlined sales funnel/project creator (HoneyBook), which has made the proposal, contact, and payment progress 1000x smoother. This also makes my business, SPARC Guidance, more professional and helped me establish contracts for trainings/coaching sessions with Early Head Start via the Early Learning Coalition. I am also now able to offer family coaching sessions and I hope to expand SPARC to the School District next.