Sad Goodbyes and Wonderful Welcomes
This quarter we said goodbye to long time Education Staff Marie Worrell. Marie first started working at Five County when the center was located in Rexburg in the where the current Madison Women's prison is. She has been a huge proponent in expanding our center library to help our youth learn to enjoy reading. She has helped to train countless head teachers and education staff. In 2015 she decided to semi-retire, but she still came and subbed when education staff needed time off and was still often seen bringing in books to donate to the library or even weeding out on the Five County grounds. Marie has always been one to look for things that needed to be done and then jumped in and did them, whether it was an expectation of her job or not. Marie has become a integral part of our Five County family and now that the time has come for her to fully retire, we will greatly miss her. We wish her all the best in the adventures that life has in store for her in the future.
We also welcomed a new education staff. Mrs. Sherri Jackson comes to us after working for several years at South Fremont High School. We are very grateful to have Mrs. Jackson in the classroom and are grateful for her experience and knowledge in working with students with learning struggles. She is and will no doubt continue to be a great addition to our team.
Employee of the Quarter
Our employee of the quarter is Sierra Coburn. Sierra has been working in the kitchen at Five County since 2015. She prepares many yummy meals for our staff and residents. We are grateful for her and how willing she is to step up and help out at times that we have been short handed in the kitchen. Sierra is a true asset to our Five County team. Thank you Sierra for all of your hard work!
We would like to also make a special mention to the employee of the quarter runners up:
We truly appreciate all of you!
Happenings Around the Center
Usually we try to take the youth who are progressing in their treatment programs for outings once a month. Due to the need to take precautions against COVID-19. We have been unable to take the youth out of the center. We have done some other fun, in center activities.
We had a spa day and the girls in our program had the opportunity to give themselves facials. manicures, and pedicures. They also watched a romantic comedy.
We had a movie day, and made popcorn and watched a movie on the wall in our gym with the girls.
We also had a pizza/ service day. We took the young ladies out into the rec yard to plant flowers and other plants and also treated them to pizza for lunch to say thank you for their work in the yard.
We hope to resume more normal activities soon, but we are doing the best with what we have for now.
Some of the young ladies in our program recently completed a Parenting 101 class. It covers topics such as infant/child development, STI's, and life skills like budgeting etc. The culmination of the class is that the ladies gain the experience of wearing a pregnancy simulator suit to get an idea of what it is like to be pregnant, and then they get to take care of a simulated infant for 4 days to learn what it is like to have a baby. It is a class we usually run twice a year to help educate the young ladies in our center. A special thanks to Mrs. Elliott who always does a fabulous job at running the class.
Various repairs and updates have been happening around the center as well. One of our young ladies recently painted some murals in our observation rooms to make them a more calm and therapeutic setting for those who need to stay there. We have also painted and done some updates to some of our offices.
We are continuing to use extra caution at Five County. We wipe down surfaces and mop floors several times a day to help keep our center germ free and to protect the youth in our care.
With all of the difficult things happening in the world today we decided it would be great to highlight a distress tolerance skill.
Wise mind ACCEPTS
For this skill we use accepts as an acronym to help us remember what to do:
A-Activities: Give your mind a break from what is stressful and get physically busy doing something you enjoy
C-Contributing: Do something to help and serve someone else.
C-Comparisons: Comparisons can be helpful if we compare ourselves now to how we used to be. It can help us to recognize the growth we have experienced. We can also compare our circumstances with those who may be less fortunate in order to focus on gratitude for what we do have.
E-Emotions- use opposite: Do something that is the opposite of your current emotion. For example when you are sad, you may choose to watch a comedy. When you are angry you could try listening to some upbeat music. Whatever can help you to focus on the opposite and more positive emotion.
P-Pushing Away: Pushing away the negative thoughts that are causing us stress is very important. Sometimes it is helpful to write them down and then rip up the paper and throw it away.
T-Thoughts: Think of things to distract. It might involve prayer, counting, or even just thinking of the lyrics or a favorite song.
S-Sensations: When stress is overwhelming it might help to focus on the five senses to get more grounded in the here and now. Look around and observe your surroundings. Close your eyes and think about what sounds and smells are around. Eating a sweet treat and focusing on the taste and the feel of it in your mouth.
These are difficult times in the world today. Accepting what is and recognizing what we can and can't do to fix it as well as redirecting our stressful thoughts and emotions can make a world of difference.