Coaching Kids, Inc. Newsletter
In this issue
• Coaching Workshop at the Betty Marler Centre
• Prison Project Re-started Through Coaching Kids, Inc.
• What’s New with Coaching Kids, Inc.
Coaching Workshop at the Betty Marler Centre
At the Betty Marler Centre in Lakewood, CO, on October 15th, nine girls, age 14 to 20, walked in to our workshop with an edge of defiance. Some had their arms crossed, some took a defensive stance and some looked fearful. They were invited to attend our 8-week workshops to build their self esteem and assertiveness, improve their communication skills, build powerful listening skills and develop conflict resolution skills.
The Centre is run by Rite-Of-Passage, an organization that runs seven juvenile centres in four states. It is the last step before the big prison and is referred to as a facility for committed adolescent females.
We started out by asking each girl to say her name, share about how long she had been at the facility and something that nobody or few knew about them. The sharing brought out an essence of each of their personalities and a reflection of their life circumstances: “My mom is a crack-head”, “my mom’s a drunk and hard headed”, “I used to be an Indian dancer”, “I love Taco Bell”. During this portion Sam (Samantha) and Reuel asked questions that were designed to build trust and confidence, and to be meaningful. The questions clearly influenced the space in a positive light.
Reuel asked one girl, “What do you want to get or learn?” At first she admitted she did not know what we were talking about, then her response electrified the space, “I need help in the area of drugs and how to deal with my Mom. I need help with my Mom, how to let her do what she does, and not get MAD about it. I have not learned all the ways to handle drugs.”
This caused a huge shift in the room from doing to being, from talking about to being with, from being lectured to, to the girls sharing from their heart and asking for what they really wanted in life. The whole space and feel of the room opened up. This is the power and magic of coaching at its best!
Our next step was to introduce the girls to the distinctions between coaching and traditional ways of learning. We also led discussions around empowerment, acknowledgement, curiosity, inquiry and creativity. We then moved on to values. The girls shared what was important to them. Through this sharing, they were able to learn more about themselves and each other.
From there on out, it was a beautiful dance with Sam and Reuel asking pointed questions and creating opening after opening for the group to step into their growth and the girls sharing about their lives and what they wanted for themselves and each other. Laughter was spontaneous, people were teasing each other and deeper connections were made between everyone.
Throughout the workshop, the girls coached each other using the skills they were taught. They learned how to listen to each other, be with and support each other. It was an amazing transformation over such a small amount of time. When the nine girls were leaving the classroom, there was a sense of possibility, hope and fun in the space. We can’t wait for the second class!
Prison Project Re-started Through Coaching Kids, Inc.
Coaching Kids, Inc. is excited to announce that we will be re-starting the Prison Project. In a recent letter to Dr. Tony Romero, Reuel Hunt outlined the background and success of Coaching Kids Inc. raising money and training over 100 inmates at the FCI Englewood Federal Prison in Littleton to be life coaches, two of them becoming Certified Professional Co-Active Coaches. The CTI Coaches Training Programs were also delivered in San Quentin. In 2004, the program moved to Center Force, a not-for- profit prison training organization in Northern California, and the program was shortly closed down. The goal is to integrate the Coaching Training, Jericho Road, Coaching Skills training and other programs with the State of Colorado Department of Corrections facilities, then expand nationally and internationally.
Energy continues to flow around coaching and coach training in prisons. A Bigger Game book is being written about the Bigger Game Prison Project, potentially including the efforts to re-start the project and where that might lead.
Long-term our goal is to have coaching and coach training programs in all prisons, including programs modeled after the Jericho Road project where trained inmates coach ‘at risk’ youth and their parents in the local communities.
We have two people helping with the re-start of the prison project who were inmates in the original Bigger Game Prison Project, one a CPCC, received while he was in prison. Gary and Russ, the two afore mentioned former inmates, redesigned and managed the Jericho Road Program at FCI Englewood, a Federal Prison in Littleton, CO.
Our plan is to re-start and re-create this in the local women’s prison, train them to be Co-Active Coaches and including the Jericho Road program whereby the women inmates coach youth in the local juvenile justice system, and their parents, for two hours a week for 10 weeks. And that is just the beginning.
Thanks, Reuel J. Hunt
What’s New with Coaching Kids, Inc.
1. Three classes were given to the girls at the not – for – profit Girls, Inc. located in Philadelphia, PA.
2. One leadership class was given to the staff at Girls, Inc, Philadelphia, based on the Organizational and Relationship Systems coach training program.
3. Coaching Circles: this program teaches coaching skills to kids and allows them to develop and strengthen their coaching skills in a group setting – coaching each other in a circle over the phone. They work in circles of four kids on the phone and in person. There are opportunities for the kids who wish to further develop their coaching skills by attending group meetings on the phone and in- person, conducted where the facilitators guide and offer suggestions to the kids on how to continually refine their coaching skills. In the January/February issue, participants in the Coaching Circles program will share their experiences and provide updates on their progress.