Coaching Kids, Inc. Newsletter
In this issue
• Coaching Skills for Kids Being Taught at the Rite of Passage Program in the Betty Marler Center
• What’s New at Coaching Kids
Coaching Skills for Kids Being Taught at the Rite of Passage Program in the Betty Marler Center
With Coaching Skills for Kids being taught at the Rite of Passage program in the Betty Marler center, Reuel Hunt and his many volunteers with Coaching Kids, Inc. are making quite the impact. The girls, aged 13 to 18, are participants in a program which teaches them the dynamics of life coaching skills, and how to use these coaching skills in their relationships with others.
This is the third course of this program being taught in a prison setting. The first run was conducted with a group of nine girls from the Rite of Passage Center over a period of eight weeks. The girls’ tough outer shells quickly melted and real progress towards change was made as Reuel and his volunteers created a coaching cocoon full of powerful question- asking and open-minded listening.
The Coaching Skills program at the prison that is currently underway is a process of opening up to one’s peers, sharing one’s deepest needs and fears, beginning to understand one’s own emotions and motivations, and discovering one’s true self and letting that person shine. The curriculum used stems from many different areas including an Emotional Intelligence Profile developed by Laura A. Belsten, Ph.D., past president of DCF. This assessment is taken both before and after the program to track progress of self-understanding, to learn how the girls relate to others, and to understand their own personal powers.
“The warmth and emotional capacity I experienced during my first visit blew me away. I was so impressed with the girls’ involvement and enjoyment of the Coaching Skills Program, I decided to dedicate more of my time to this program,” says Michelle Coble, a new volunteer with Coaching Kids, Inc. Michelle’s heart was not the only one captured by these girls; many other active volunteers participate in this program on a regular basis and also enjoy the progress they witness each week.
Though no two sessions are identical, a typical session usually begins with the participating girls gathering in a common area, each bringing their emotional baggage of the week, their current hopes and disappointments, and most likely, some form of beauty primping product to temporarily distract them. The girls settle within the circle with Reuel and his volunteers and begin to feel and feed the vibe of the room. Check-ins with all participants consists of questions that update the group of the girls’ feelings and personal dealings. Once everyone is connected, Reuel begins to engage the girls in an activity to both recap what has already been learned and to incorporate new ideas for new learning. Participation is not forced; it does not need to be, as the girls happily share their opinions and knowledge with bouts of laughter and uncomfortable silences in between.
The success of this coaching program within the prisons has made a large impact on many people. Reuel is hoping to continue projects of this nature and is constantly working to improve them. With the help of the members of the Denver Coach Federation, success knows no limit!
What’s New at Coaching Kids
Adult Prison Project
We have a pilot program coming together in which a two-day version of the CTI fundamentals course is being implemented into the prison-training program. This program is being brought in to start the process of taking CTI core course training into the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility. We have a staff member at the University of Nebraska who will be working with us to develop further the Jericho Road Program, which uses the trained inmate coaches to coach parents and kids from the local juvenile justice system for two hours a week for twelve weeks. Three of the inmates from FCI Englewood Federal Prison who previously ran the Jericho Road Program have transformed the program from counseling to a coaching setting and are out and on our team. See next month’s issue for more information on this program.
A new program of Mentoring curriculum has been put together for the mentors participating in the Betty Marler Center. It is a twelve-week program providing support, leadership and learning for both the mentor and the mentee. We have a few new mentors at Coaching Kids and we welcome them! Stay tuned for a more detailed article in a future issue.
The Girls Program at the Betty Marler Center
Coaching Kids is currently in the third course of Coaching Skills for Kids at the Betty Marler Center, where Reuel and the volunteers are teaching the girls coaching skills and how to use them within their relationships with others. The program started a year ago and is growing. It includes a mentoring program and pen pal program with girls in Africa. See the detailed story in this issue.
Two on Two Coaching
Pairs of volunteers are coaching single parents who have a teenager by using relationship coaching, co- active coaching, parent coaching and kid coaching skills. Stay tuned for more on this.
Boys Prison Project at Ridgeview Academy
We are currently working on getting back into the Ridgeview Academy with efforts to replicate the program currently running in the Betty Marler girls’ prison. Both of these prisons are run by Rite of Passage, an organization that designs, builds, and manages juvenile prisons in several states. Their centerpiece is Ridgeview Academy in Watkins, Colorado with 500 boys, and there are 40 girls in the pilot program at the Betty Marler Center which started in 2005 and is located in Denver, Colorado.
Al Roker Productions has shown an interest in doing a documentary/reality TV show on coaching in prisons. The proposal for this project to the networks is currently in draft form and we are excited to hear back from them. Stay tuned!