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

At times building new relationships can take a lot of courage. Especially when a leader chooses to be vulnerable and share personal stories with middle school students who have had a rough day. This has been the case for Mr. Kalin, who has been in this scenario each week since coming on staff in September. He is an assistant Teens Club director in Casa’s Local Leaders program.

 

For months, he found it challenging to reach a room of middle school teens who were still warming up to him as a new person. He knew the challenges of middle school and identified with how the students may be feeling, “Being in middle school was pretty much the worst thing I have had to go through so far! I know what they are going through. I don’t like the unfortunate reality that when I ask them how their day is, they say, ‘Bad. It was bad.’”

 

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Our community center has been busy with students of all ages from morning until night this summer. Here are reports from each of the classes. Also be sure to follow the photos on our Facebook page!

 

Summer Kids Club

Our elementary school friends have been working hard this summer! As they reviewed fractions, practiced math facts, and went over place value and rounding – volunteers and staff worked hard to set students up for success in the coming school year. Math and reading can be subject areas that are the most frustrating for our kids. However, thanks to your one on one support 76% of students feel more confident to learn math while 83% of students feel more confident around reading in the upcoming school year. Thank you to all volunteers who came out to support our children in Summer Club!

 

Teens Casa Club

As Ana* sat at teens’ Casa Club Camp she weaved yarn in and out of a cross-shaped design which she had created. I asked her, “What have you appreciated about Casa Club this past year?” She thought for a while and then she answered, “I got the help I needed and I met new people.” I followed up asking what kind of help she had received, expecting it to be around her school work. She replied, “Well, they helped me learn how to talk to people. Talking to new people is hard for me, and I don’t always control my emotions well. But they helped me process my emotions, and they were patient and kind with me. Now I feel like talking to new people isn’t so hard anymore.

 

It’s been encouraging to see volunteers at Casa Club building a community where students feel safe to learn how to express themselves. Across all of our programs, volunteers build deeper relationships, instilling confidence and nurturing stronger communities. Thank you to each of you for everything you’ve done to build a flourishing community in Chirilagua.

 

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By Teddi Beschel

 

This fall Casa Chirilagua expanded and relaunched our middle school program, Casa Club. Not only did we revamp the program, but I made my first appearance with Casa as the Youth Programs Coordinator. With a new program, new participants and myself being the new coordinator, I had no idea what to expect. Casa Chirilagua staff strongly emphasize creating a safe place for youth to work on academics while building positive supportive community. However I wondered whether the teens would buy into this message or not. Would Casa Club consist of students attending because their parents told them to? Or could it be something 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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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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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 Lisa Martinez is our March Volunteer of the Month!

Casa Chirilagua Teens Club learns yoga (more…)

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Casa Chirilagua Teens Club learns yoga

Our Monday night programming for Teens Club was created with the intent of broadening our students’ exposure to new ideas, hobbies, and skills. With that in mind, we were excited to offer a yoga class throughout the month of January. Lisa Martinez, a licensed professional yoga instructor, volunteered her teaching skills to introduce our young people to a new way of moving and knowing their bodies.

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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 Jesse Kirk is our February Volunteer of the Month!

Casa Chirilagua mentor Jesse Kirk

Jesse started mentoring one of our Kids Club boys in late October and he’s also served as a volunteer during our Christmas event and periodically at Kids Club. (more…)

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Each month it is a tough choice selecting just one volunteer to recognize. However, there is usually one individual or group that stands out. This month, the group standing out the most is our First Lego League volunteers.

Casa Chirilagua First Lego League (more…)

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The past couple weeks we have seen our middle school students grow in experience and character.

Two Saturdays ago we took thirteen students to Great Falls. The leaders watched in awe as we observed our middle school students immerse themselves in the beautiful landscape.  The cascading falls and intricate rock formations (and dead snake) captured our students’ attention in ways that we had not anticipated. They extended hands of support and words of encouragement as they worked their way in and around the rocks. One student, who can tend to find fault with anything, said, “This is great!  It’s the right amount of challenge, and it’s kind of scary!”

Casa Chirilagua Teens Club at Great Falls

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Casa News