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Elgin Receives Gold Circle of Quality Designation from ExceleRate Illinois

ELGIN CHILD AND FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER RECEIVES EXCELERATE ILLINOIS GOLD CIRCLE OF QUALITY DESIGNATION

One Hope United Setting the Standard for Quality Early Learning in Chicago

Chicago, Illinois – November 19, 2014 – One Hope United’s Elgin Child and Family Resource Center has received the Gold Circle of Quality designation from ExceleRate Illinois, a statewide quality rating and improvement system for early learning and development providers. The Gold Circle recognizes that the Center has achieved the highest standards in learning environment and quality of teaching, administration of programs and educating and training staff.

“I am proud to announce that Elgin Child and Family Resource Center has received the Gold Circle of Quality award, which reflects the active engagement of our staff in continuous quality improvement” said Colleen Bandy, Elgin Child and Family Resource Center Director. “Providing high quality care for the children of Elgin will help prepare them for success in school and, ultimately, in life.”

ExceleRate Illinois provides a system specially designed to assist families in making the best possible decisions regarding their children’s early learning. It establishes standards to help infants, toddlers and preschoolers develop intellectually, physically, socially and emotionally. The program not only provides a framework for early learning and development professionals to identify opportunities for improvement and skill enhancement, but also recognizes their continuous efforts to provide quality care.

Research in science and brain development shows that children who are more meaningfully engaged in early learning experiences from infancy through the first five years of life are more likely to be successful in school and in life. High quality early childhood experiences not only improve the child’s cognitive abilities but cultivate vital behavioral traits such as motivation, sociability and self-esteem. With the right engagement, children can form a healthy foundation of neural pathways in the brain, which impact their ability to think, react, process and grow.

About ExceleRate Illinois

ExceleRate Illinois is a statewide quality rating and improvement system designed to make continuous quality improvement an everyday priority among early learning providers. The program establishes standards for helping infants, toddlers and preschool age children develop intellectually, physically, socially and emotionally. It provides a framework for early learning professionals to identify opportunities for improvement, increase their skills and take steps to make positive changes.  www.ExceleRateIllinois.com.

About One Hope United

One Hope United is a private human service organization that offers a diverse array of early childhood education, prevention, intervention and community-based programs. The agency serves thousands of children and families with a vision of ensuring the successful transition of our children to healthy and productive adults.http://onehopeunited.wpengine.com/

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Contact:
Colleen Bandy
(847) 697-7100
cbandy@onehopeunited.org

Building Hope With Habitat for Humanity

On November 14, 2014, our service centers of Highlands and Hardee County, Florida collaborated with Habitat for Humanity in an amazing effort to build a home for a family in need. This was the first time in about five years that Habitat for Humanity Highlands County committed to a “new build”, which involves building a new home from start to finish. One Hope United couldn’t pass on the opportunity to lend a helping hand, with 15 staff members showing up to volunteer during the building process.

The OHU volunteers worked from about 8:30am until 3:00pm and accomplished a great deal, having gotten several walls for the house up by the end of the day. The family was asked to invest 300 “sweat” hours of their own; fortunately, the volunteers were able to donate 111.75 of those hours to the family, more than 1/3 of what is required. OHU does not want to just stop there, but plan to lend more of their time to this deserving family as the home nears completion and needs some painting or finishing touches.

A representative from the the team has also been invited to speak at the Habitat for Humanity Highland County Christmas breakfast to share their experience working together, as well as One Hope United’s view on the positive effects of affordable housing on families. One Hope United is very excited to begin teaming up with Habitat for Humanity for more volunteer opportunities like this in the near future!

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Discover Financial Spruces Up Lake Villa

On September 16, 2014, over 150 volunteers from Discover Financial descended on the Lake Villa campus to build bookcases, planter benches, picnic tables, and cubbies for the young men in our residential programs, as well as paint murals in the residence homes. They even built a Fitness Trail and a Frisbee Golf Course!

Arranged through Chicago CARES, this visit was part of Discover CARES month, a time in which employees across the country have the opportunity to volunteer in their communities.  This marks the 3rd year that Discover has come to our Lake Villa campus, and the company generously underwrote the expenses for all materials and tool rental.

The campus  looks more amazing than ever.  Thank you, Discover, for all that you do!Bookcases Finished_murals Picnic_Tables MuralsFitness_trail Frisbee_Golf Fitness_Trail (2)

The Simple Gift of a Coat

It’s hard to believe that summertime is over and fall is right around the corner!  The story below, from one of our caseworkers in Effingham, IL, is a great reminder that this time of seasonal transition can be a challenge for some families.

Take a moment to read the story below and share it with your friends and family.  And if you or your place of business are interested in supporting our holiday campaign by collecting grocery gift cards to be distributed to families in need, shopping for seasonal items for an individual child or group of children, and decorating a Gift Card Tree in your lobby or break room, please contact your local OHU representative below!


winter coatsI did a home visit this afternoon and the mom asked if I could find her boys some coats. She said they outgrew last year’s coats, and her youngest walked home from school today in a long-sleeve t-shirt. I put a request on Facebook for two gently used boy’s coats, and offered to pick them up. Well, within minutes I was contacted by a family friend who stated that he and his wife wanted to provide coats for the boys. Within 30 minutes, they were at the door with three bags of things for the boys. They wanted to make sure they stayed warm so they got them sweatshirts, hooded fleece jackets, and coats.

The boys were so overjoyed by these. They put all three on and said they were sleeping in them tonight! I offered to get a donation letter but they refused saying they wanted to remain anonymous. This is the time of year I especially love working in this field! I love seeing people give for no reason at all; and I love seeing the expressions on the kids’ faces. Even when it is for something most kids take for granted – a coat!

Ready to make a difference this fall?  Contact us to learn more:
Chicago
Jenaeth Markaj
jmarkaj@onehopeunited.org
312.949.4001

Chicago Collar Counties

Marilee LaMattina
mlamattina@onehopeunited.org
847.245.6553

Central and Southern IL

Jayme Godoyo
jgodoyo@onehopeunited.org
618.532.4311

Centralia Junior High: You’re the Best!

At One Hope United, donations of school supplies are collected throughout the month of August in preparation for youth to go back to school. On Tuesday, August 19, a surprising new donation came from an unexpected place.

The Centralia Junior High School faculty and staff pulled up to the Centralia Residential site in a bus and asked to see one of our youth, who is a student at the school. They then all cheered as the youth came out of the Administration building to receive her gift: school supplies to start the new school year! They also chanted and shouted “YOU MATTER!”

The faculty and staff wanted to show students, parents and the community that they truly care about their students. We are so grateful that our youth was one of the four students the junior high staff chose to recognize and supply with the materials needed to start off the new school year successfully. Thank you, Centralia Junior High!

Bridgeport II Receives Gold Circle of Quality Designation from ExceleRate Illinois

BRIDGEPORT CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTER II RECEIVES EXCELERATE ILLINOIS GOLD CIRCLE OF QUALITY DESIGNATION

Shows Continuous Quality Improvement Commitment to Children in Chicago

Chicago, Illinois – August 4, 2014 – Bridgeport Child Development Center II received the Gold Circle of Quality designation from ExceleRate Illinois, the state’s new quality rating and improvement system for early learning and development providers.

“Every early learning and development provider who participates in ExceleRate Illinois makes quality a priority,” said Theresa Hawley, executive director, Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development. “The higher the designation, the higher the provider’s demonstrated quality and comprehensiveness in meeting children’s early learning needs,” she said.

“We are proud to receive the Gold Circle of Quality,” said Karina Dixon, Bridgeport Child Development Center II. “Providing quality in early learning and development will help our children in Chicago be better prepared for success in school and in life.”

ExceleRate Illinois helps families make more informed choices about their children’s early learning. It establishes standards to help infants, toddlers and preschoolers develop intellectually, physically, socially and emotionally. Additionally, it provides a framework for early learning and development professionals to identify opportunities to enhance their knowledge and skills.

Research in science and brain development shows that children who are more meaningfully engaged in early learning experiences from infancy through the first five years of life are more likely to be successful in school and in life. With the right engagement, children can form a healthy foundation of neural pathways in the brain, which impact their ability to think, react, process and grow.

ExceleRate Illinois is a comprehensive system that includes Licensed Child care Centers, Preschool for All and Center-Based Prevention Initiative Programs, Head Start and Early Head Start Programs. Licensed Family and Group Child Care Homes will be included next year.

For more information or to find a Child Care Resource & Referral Agency in your area, visit: www.ExceleRateIllinois.com.

ExceleRate Illinois is administered through INCCRRA under the joint direction of the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development, the Illinois Department of Human Services, and the Illinois State Board of Education.

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Contact:
Karina Dixon
(312) 949-4015
kdixon@onehopeunited.org

Second Annual Golf “Fore” Hope is a Hit!

Hudelson Region held its Second Annual Golf “Fore” Hope event at the Colonial Golf Course in Sandoval, Illinois. Fourteen teams played in the event and over 12 volunteers helped make the day run smoothly! Lunch was provided by Mama Carol at Centralia Residential, who worked with the youth to pack the lunch bags for golfers the morning of the event. Thank you, Mama Carol!

Golfers were competitive as usual, not only in the scramble, but also in the longest drive and straightest drive contests. There were also some great raffle prizes, including items from Callaway, Under Armour, the St. Louis Cardinals, the St. Louis Rams, Six Flags, Holiday World, and many more.

Despite a little rain early in the day, Golf “Fore” Hope was another fun event and we are already looking forward to June 27, 2015 for our Third Annual Golf “Fore” Hope!

CARE Supports Those Battling Cancer

On Saturday, July 26, 2014, youth and staff from the One Hope United CARE Residential program in northern Illinois ran in a 5K to support No One Fights Cancer Alone (NOFCA). This non-profit was founded two years ago by Donna Bergl, a long-time OHU Volunteer, and John Mehnert.  Mehnert shared that this 5K was, “a grass roots effort to help local families who are battling cancer.”

This second annual NOFCA 5K run raised $6,600, with over 200 people participating. The proceeds will benefit two local families struggling with cancer.

We’re so proud of the young men in our CARE program for their willingness to get involved to help others and for their hearts of service! 

Camp Hope: An Experience to Remember

Summer camp provides children the chance to learn new skills, enjoy summer activities, make happy memories, and have fun.  The Centralia, Illinois campus is giving residential youth that opportunity with a new program modeled after summer camp.  Camp Hope, developed by local staff, gives youth a chance to explore their creativity and increase knowledge

During the morning, youth attend a Cooking, Arts, or Life Skills course with the goal that everyone gets to participate in all of the courses before the end of the summer.  Activities are designed to engage the campers in a variety of ways. During a recent Art class, for example, a magnified version of one youth’s fingerprint was placed behind art paper.  The youth then wrote down characteristics that make them unique, creating a visually striking pattern of text that followed the lines of the fingerprint.

Other youth participate in on-campus employment opportunities, giving them the chance to hone job skills while earning a little extra money for the school year.  The youth employees, who were required to apply for their jobs, help the “counselors” with the day’s camp activities, prepare lunch with the cook in the kitchen, or assist with other work around campus. 

After lunch and a short break, youth participate in a fun outdoor activity such as hiking, miniature golf, or swimming.  Camp Hope will culminate in early August with a group swim, an overnight camping experience at Camp Maranatha, and an end-of-season party.   

Thank you, Centralia staff, for taking that extra step to give the youth a great summer!

Functional Family Therapy Gives a Family the Skills they Need to Communicate

holding hands (with clipping path)Alisa* is 12 and she and her biological father were recently involved with our Functional Family Therapy (FFT) program in St. Louis.

Before FFT, Alisa had been arguing and fighting with many school peers and family members, which led to her getting kicked out of school. Her dad didn’t discipline her and instead often gave very long speeches about why she shouldn’t do what she did, causing Alisa to check out after just a sentence or two. He also often bought her extra things like electronics and jewelry after she would repeatedly ask him and give him “puppy-dog eyes.”

During FFT, the therapist pointed out the patterns that she saw and assessed the functions in the family, noting that dad wanted more connection time than the daughter did (hence the long speeches). Dad was able to see the role he was playing in Alisa’s choices because he was teaching her that she could manipulate people to get what she wanted and to not be satisfied with what she had. The therapist showed the family how they could use their strengths, like a strong family connection and Dad’s advice, in a way that encouraged positive behaviors and practiced small adjustments, like shorter speeches.

Soon, dad was parenting more consistently, keeping his “no means no” and using other things as rewards for good behavior. Alisa also saw how what she was doing brought out a side of herself that she didn’t want to be and changed the way she approached peers. In addition, the therapist practiced skills like anger management, decision-making and communication/listening skills to enhance their interactions and keep them on a positive path. The result was a family that didn’t argue as much and a daughter who was actually listening to her dad’s great advice.

*Name has been changed to protect the privacy of the family.

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