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I hope you are all enjoying the March session of ELP! I think we have seen great progress with many of our kiddos. I see our little ones starting to push some boundaries and test a bit. Our teen group challenged us for the first few weeks, but I think things fell into place on Monday and the documentary is going to be amazing!
You guys are doing a great job with data collection. I know it is hard, but it really is the way to show the insurance companies and funders that what we are doing works. We will become Medicaid providers as of the May session, which may change a few things. For the most part we already take all the data in information they will need. It is exciting- it should help with funding for a lot of our kids.
Thank you for being on top of the sign in-sign out. As we get more organized and progress we will add and subtract protocol. We will start monitoring who picks kids up in the May session and each kid will have a list of who is allowed to pick them up. We will also be doing a communication log starting in May. I am not sure what that will look like yet, but we will go over it prior to the May session starting.
We have 2 kids being paid for by the county and one of them is court ordered. All steps forward to the counties recognizing that kids are getting so much from this and that it is worth funding!
We are going to start a weekly mentor training. It will be every from 12:45-1:30. We will role play and work on various scenarios as well as go over questions you guys have. Monday night mentors-you are welcome at the Saturday training. If we need to add a training on Mondays we will look into that. Let me know. That training will start this Saturday!
May session sign ups… it is that time again to sign up for the next session. If you are not continuing, please, please please try to find someone to take your place. The Teen group will be May 3rd, 10th, 17th, 27th, June7th and 14th. The Preteen group will be May 8th, 15th, 22nd, June 5th, 12th, 19th. We will be off the weekend of Memorial Day (May 29th and 31st). Let me know by April 10th if you are returning or who is replacing you. We will have a New Mentor Training on May 1st.
We are going to add ELP Volunteer Hours. Right now the Teen group comes and works from 3-5. It has been a challenge but we have worked most of the kinks out. A lot of the kids have expressed interest in volunteering, but they can’t come whenever they want and we can’t offer supervision throughout the week. So, we will continue the Teen Volunteer Hours on Mondays from 3-5. Typically this group cleans stalls and then plays a game. We will be adding a second work task as they can handle it. The Pre-Teen Volunteer Hours will either be on Saturdays following ELP or on Sundays. Are any of you interested in supervising the kids? The pre-teens would be dusting the arena, washing buckets, etc. There would be little horse involvement to keep the need for supervision ratio down. If you are interested talk to me.
We will also be having an ELP Summer CAMP!!! Summer Camp will be the week of June 14 to 18. It will be between 5 and 6 hours a day with a mix of equine activities, games, hiking and possible field trip. We are looking volunteers who can help out with the kiddos. If interested, talk to me.
Finally- We need to do a Mentor Melting Pot Night. Coordinating 20 mentors and 6 facilitators calendars is insanity, add on top the Colorado weather… So April 12th at 8:00. Email me if you are going to attend so we can make a reservation.
I can’t thank you all enough for what you are doing for these kids and what you have done for me. Starting this program is an amazing experience and has helped me to settle into my new home.
Maura Stack-Oden, MA, BCABA
Zuma’s Rescue Ranch
Zuma’s Experiential Learning Kids ~ Straight from the mouth of a child.
Why I like horses:
“They are really big animals. They are amazing. In my heart they are sacred. Like the sacred dog.” (reference to the book, “The Gift of the Sacred Dog” that we both love)
What I do at Zuma’s:
“I’m learning how hard it is to be devoted to something. I have commited to this. And it is painful. It is painful to cough up $4. But I did it. It is painful to scoop poop, but I did it. It is painful to get itchy eyes.”
What do you get from Zuma’s:
“In the evening I get to talk to my mentor in the warm room. I like talking to people – 1 on 1, not in big groups – and I don’t get that a lot.
My goal is to ride. My hope is I volunteer enough here that they’ll see I’m truly committed. I’m not just here to make a quick buck. It may not happen until I’m 19 and I’m finally on my own. But maybe one day I’ll have a job and I’ll be able to have my own horse. Or sponsor one. There are tons of possibilities with this place.”
This is why what we do at Zuma’s works! Support our mission, Donate Today
How our son, age 8, experiences life:
Every day,filled with numerous happenings that he is not expecting.
Not knowing what is going to happen next puts him in a hypervigilant state.
Things that trigger him are : someone coming to the door, a loud noise
(truck driving by, lawnmower, fire-truck). When he gets scared he goes into
flight or fight (usually fight) mode and reacts by hitting, running or
swearing. This makes it hard to be around other people that don’t know him
well because he is usually labeled as a bad kid. They don’t realize these
everyday occurences trigger him.
How this impacts our life:
He doesn’t have any friends that come over to play at our house. He
can’t participate in extra curricular activities like sports or art
classes. His whole world revolves around his brother, sister and parents.
We don’t go out to eat as a family or have many people over at our house
because of the stress it causes on our son.
Why he likes Zuma Rescue Ranch:
The horses are big and alive! They can be grumpy or happy just like our
son. It gives our son a way to take care of a living animal and at the same
time follow some detailed instructions. It is great occupational therapy!
He gets to know his horse and develop a good relationship since he is paired
with the same horse every week. Maura makes him feel comfortable since she
is clear on her expectations. She also has an amazing talent for
understanding what he struggles with in life. We have not come across
people like her very often! From day one she could separate the bad
behaviors from his personality. Knowing he is being treated fairly and with
compassion takes a lot of stress out of our lives.
This of course only describes how Zuma impacts our life. The other half of
the story is how the horses benefit.
Meet Dan Schlachtenhaufen, Zuma’s volunteer of the month for February.
Dan only started volunteering at Zuma’s in late January and since that time he has consistently volunteered between 20 to 25 hours a week. No job is too difficult for Dan, he cleans paddocks/pastures and the stalls. He even feeds breakfast and lunch to our herd and is by far the earliest volunteer to arrive at the ranch at 7:30am.
Due to Dan’s dedication he has learned all about the horses and knows them all by name.
Zuma’s Rescue Ranch is very lucky to have Dan and all our other volunteers, we couldn’t do this without you all.
Thank you to all the Zuma’s volunteers and congratulations Dan!
Child Protective Services is not taking care of their charges. These facts have been gathered from many sources. The reporting organization is listed at the end of each paragraph.
There are more than half a million children and youth in the U.S. foster care system, a 90% increase since 1987. Three of 10 of the nation’s homeless are former foster children. A recent study has found that 12‐18 months after leaving foster care:
27% of the males and 10% of the females had been incarcerated
33% were receiving public assistance
37% had not finished high school
50% were unemployed
Zuma’s Recuse Ranch, Denver University’s Phil Tedschi and Felecia Trembly from the Experiential Learning Center at Zuma’s will be guests on the Colorado and Company Show March 4th from 10:00-11:00 am Please Tune in.
The show’s host, Denise Plant will interview the trio about the exciting new things happening with Zuma’s Rescue Ranch.
Big Thanks to Sue Bury-Oldham for opening the door for Zuma’s to get a spot on the show!
Wow, how an organization entrusted with the care of at risk youth be so careless. Seems they are very good at back pedaling when staff make mistakes, not so good at placing the child’s mental health in front of their own corporate agendas. If organizations providing care for at risk youth do not step out of the box when it comes to providing solution…… we will continue with the same alarming statistics of 54% of children removed from their homes do not graduate from high school and 80% end up in prison at some point in their lives.
Beacon Center newly appointed Executive Director has not clue number one what goes on in the house which became boldly clear in a meeting with him today.
Zuma’s offered five wonderful young women the opportunity at no cost to take part in our $460.00 per person sensational experiential learning program. While the young women were benefiting greatly from the experience, a fact agreed upon by all involved, sadly the powers that be at the Beacon Center pulled the girls from the program mid-stream with 1.5 hours notice.
This road was rocky from day one, the program coördinator from the Beacon Center did not read or fill out the necessary paper work prior to the first day of the program. Zuma’s staff asked repeatedly to have the paper work completed prior to the programs start day, obviously this fell on deaf ears. So here we are week 5 of a six-week program…… and five of our eight program participants pulled with no justification. Vague statements of clinical boundaries, licensing regulations and the sort were stated. Though the fact that we are not a therapy center nor are we bound by therapy red tape were ignored…. We are not obligated to the same broke standard, we offer an experiential learning environment, and we do not let policy dictate our educational plans. Out of the Box if you will.
In our collective opinion removing the girls from their mentors and their horses without so much as a good-bye was sadly the wrong thing to do. Putting the clients of Beacon Center first should be of the utmost importance, not protecting exposures allowed by Beacon House staff members. What happened here was not congruent with the mission statement at the Beacon Center. This was in no way in the best interest of the young women participating, these young people have already had so many people walk out of their lives, this was just one more disappointment for them, re-enforcing their fear of attachment.
Zuma’s Rescue Ranch along with The University of Denver have developed a better method of reaching these at risk youth, which was sadly ignored by the Beacon Center.
Breaking the mold is what really needs to happen, the status quo is failing our children.
Won’t you join Zuma’s in making a better path for these kids, Don’t stick with a failed system just because “this is how it is done” or” This is how we keep our license” If it is broken…… FIX IT!
Zuma’s has fixed it, Zuma’s has a better way and it is time to be” out with the old and in with the new.”
You can support the Ranch by adding the picture and text below to your email signature. Copy and paste it into your signature for all outgoing emails, and become part of our Mission by spreading our name to everyone in your circle of contacts. Send us an email (email@example.com) and let us know you’ve joined the mission! Thanks for your support!
If you have and interest in donating to support the Mission at Zuma’s please visit our donate page.
Zuma’s Rescue Ranch supports foster children and rescued horses so that they can help one another heal the wounds in their hearts and minds. At the Ranch, horses who were destined for slaughter are rescued, rehabilitated, and trained, so that they can help children who have been similarly discarded by our failing system in equine-assisted psychotherapy sessions. To learn more and find out how you can help, please email Jodi Messenich (Jodi@zumasrescueranch.com) or visit http://www.zumasrescueranch.com or http://zumasrescueranch.wordpress.com today. Zuma’s is an approved 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Your donations are tax-deductible. Please support these children and horses. Lives are not disposable.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be determined by the way its animals are treated.” Mahatma Gandhi
Lives are not disposable.
Zuma’s Mission is to rescue cast off horses and pair them with troubled children and families. Together, with the help of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy we will teach both horse and child how to live, love and trust again.