wishlist

  • Casa Volunteer Opportunities

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  • Wishlists for Kids Club and Mentoring

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  • Casa’s Amazon Smile

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  • Seeking 1-to-1 Mentors

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who we are

Local young adults serve as Assistant Kids Club Directors caring for students, developing program content, directing volunteers and overseeing all of the details that make the program possible each day. As part of the Local Leaders Program they acquire job experience and receive professional development opportunities while participating in professional mentoring and receiving support for continuing education.
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This month marked our first on-going training session series for Casa Chirlagua mentors. Held on a Thursday night at our office, the session brought a great turnout. Speaking on boundaries in mentoring, Mariela Aguilar, a veteran mentor with 14 years of experience, shared her wisdom on how to set boundaries within a mentoring relationship. Mariela’s personal stories illustrated how boundaries paid off in the long run and helped both her and her mentee throughout their relationship.

 

Her mentee now volunteers at the library where Mariela works, gaining experience to help her in her future career. We’re looking forward to more training sessions that will help our mentors establish and maintain healthy and effective mentorships – just like Mariela’s. Below are a few of the highlights from the training, eoncompassing the top 3 things you need to know about boundaries in mentoring: (more…)

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Talented at mimicry and as perceptive as a social psychologist, Pedro can have twelve kids rolling at the drop of a hat. Unfortunately, twelve kids rolling on the floor laughing during homework room is often what we try to curtail at Kids Club. They do say that in comedy, timing is everything.

 

We had been practicing our skits for the Talent Show for about a week. The kids had learned the rhythm and main punch-lines of their skits, and we began practicing them in front of each other as we tried to puzzle out what would make a parent laugh.

 

One group of our girls struggled.

 

“Is it time yet?” They mumbled nervously from their seats, the rest of the group looking on. They delivered their lines without missing a word, but there was caught in a cloud of nerves, the humor failed to appear. When they finished, no one laughed. Even after the group offered positive feedback, the four looked dejected. (more…)

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It was 5:30 PM on a Friday afternoon when the Kids Club kids boarded my bus after their field trip to the Natural History museum. Ms. Liz stepped aboard to pass out a snack to each of the students: one package of Nature Valley granola bars. As Liz walked away from our bus with the box of granola bars in hand, I felt a tinge of hunger in my stomach. Looking back at the students, I asked, “Who grabbed a snack for Ms. D? I feel hungry.” An awkward silence fell over the bus. Angelina, seated in the first row of the bus, glanced down at the two granola bars sitting in the wrapper she had just opened. She looked up at me. She looked down at the package again. With a smile on her face she said, “Here, Ms. D! This is for you!” as she extended her hand toward me with a granola bar in her palm.
 

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Every month we gather as a staff to select our Volunteer of the Month. With so many superstar volunteers it is always a tough choice, yet, each month one person or group stands out above the rest. This month we are pleased to announce Amelia Brown is our May Volunteer of the Month!

 

Amelia started volunteering with Casa Chirilagua in 2012. As a Casa volunteer, she helps our community in a variety of ways: serving on the Development Committee, a board committee which aids Casa Chirilagua in raising funds via events and other initiatives; mentoring one of our second grade girls; giving of her time in the Kids Club “Homework Room” assisting students with school assignments. (more…)

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During March, Teens Club had the opportunity to celebrate spring by building kites. Our students walked into Teens Club to find print outs of kite building directions, stacks of dowel rods, garbage bags, rolls of Caution/Cuidado tape, and string. Many were hesitant to get on board.

 

“Why don’t we just go to CVS and buy a kite?”

“Kites made out of garbage bags? This looks totally ghetto.”

“There is no way I am going to do that!”

 

Slowly, with prodding from some of their more enthusiastic peers, almost all our kids got on board. (more…)

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Thank you to each and every one of you who made the March 15th workshop a success. As a relational ministry, our people are the heart and soul of everything we do and the March 15th 8 Key Components of Christian Community Development Workshop was no exception.

 

If you attended the event, please click here to complete a short survey for us, providing feedback for the workshop. Your evaluations are important to us. Thank you for your time!

 

– Sarah

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Join us in congratulating Tim Kuhn, one of our long-time star mentors, who received the Virginia Mentoring Partnership award for 2013 Mentor of the Year for his work with his Casa Chirilagua mentee. The Virginia Mentoring Partnership gives away two of these awards each year, based on applications which include reference letters from the mentoring program and a personal reference.

 

We are extremely proud of Tim and his mentee for working so hard to achieve their academic goals together. It is an honor for one of our mentors to receive state-wide recognition, as a participant in our young program.

 

Our Mentoring Director, received a personal recommendation from Tim’s mentee’s mother. Below is her letter.

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Casa Chirilagua Teens Club

 

The Kennedy Center sits just across the Potomac from our neighborhood, a building that everyone recognizes, but very few of our neighbors have ever entered. It is huge, beautiful, and provides a free program each evening at 6:00pm. Over the course of three evening field trips in March, our students listened to an opera soloist, multiple classical pianists, and a jazz choir.

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Casa Chirilagua

I am happy to report on March 15th, Casa Chirilagua hosted the first ever bilingual 8 Key Components of CCD training and it was a huge success, thanks to the many volunteers and supporters who helped make it happen. Together, we hosted a wonderfully diverse gathering of neighbors, volunteers, and newcomers to the Casa family who were courageous to engage the language and cultural barriers in order to listen to each other and learn together about wholistic ministry which includes putting Christ’s love at the center, embracing the hard work of real reconciliation, making redistribution of skills and resources a priority, facilitating power transfers to empower the community and investing in the development of local leaders.

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Casa News