GNP Resident Activities
Employing our Residents Our work of managing and rehabbing housing provides opportunities for employment and training for many who live at the Jonquil Hotel, the housing cooperatives and other neighborhood locations. The Jonquil Hotel offers desk clerk, maintenance jobs and other entry-level employment opportunities for residents. Good News Builders provides training and full-time jobs with benefits in rehabilitation work through projects on our own buildings and contracts with local area nonprofits and landlords.
Student Activities Many of our resdient activites involve providing fun and safe outlets for our students. Our young people are our greatest assets in the North of Howard community. They are creative, energetic, and yearning for positive activities. Children in our Youth Programs live at Good News Partners’ buildings and elsewhere in the neighborhood. Many of them have been homeless before coming to Good News Partners.
Reading Coaches Program Because so many of our children do not thrive in school, we constantly seek better ways to support early and life-long learning. Successful early reading is essential. Since 1976 we have supported reading in several ways. Currently, the Reading Coaches program works with first and second graders at Gale Academy, North of Howard’s K-8 public school. The program supplements what our public school is able to provide, working in tandem with the school administration and classroom teachers as an in-school pullout program targeting students who begin first grade at risk for reading failure. Our staff, with master’s degrees in reading and special ed, prepare individualized lesson plans. Each participant shares a daily, half-hour, one-on-one reading lesson specifically designed for her or his readiness, capacities, skills, and interest. The volunteer tutors get to know the students with whom they work on a regular basis.
The Jonquil Youth Learning Center works with children from the North of Howard community, many of them in multiple free activities. These experiences are particularly important for the 50 or so most active participants, who live at the Jonquil Hotel. The Learning Center offers the children tutoring, music, art, science, computer and cultural activities. By engaging local adults in these activities, our young people learn about varied cultures and have neighborhood role models. Field trips include outings to museums, movies, zoos or other recreational activities. Weekend activities at the Learning Center include Saturday Morning Kids’ Time from 10 a.m.-12 noon. Children engage in arts and crafts, exploratory and educational games, acting in plays, interpretive dance and singing, cooking, cultural and or religious field trips, and character development interactive lessons. Generally 15-20 kids participate in structured and hands-on activities.
Arts and Crafts Once a week the adults in the Jonquil Hotel enjoy a creative evening of crafting. "To most people, an evening spent doing an activity they enjoy is a welcome break from the routine of life. To someone whose life has been tragically derailed by illness, poverty, violence, or homelessness, such an evening could be the beginning of rebuilding self-esteem and the healing of a broken spirit. Every week, past and present residents of the Jonquil Hotel and their friends are invited to take part in an arts & crafts program that seeks to meet this need for healing through self-expression. A hot cup of tea, a friendly face, interesting conversation and frequent visits by the creative muses are all part of the agenda. For the children, it is a safe place to express themselves and an opportunity to learn. The program is made possible through the generosity of a private patron of the arts and humanities." -- Kathryn Gauthier, Adult Activity Director
The Annual Tennessee Wilderness Summer Camping Trip has become a highlight for our youth since our beginnings. In order to attend the week-long wilderness trip, the youth plan and participate in all the preparations. We try to recruit 12 to 15 young people for each trip, one in June and one in August. The intensity of the camping trip experience builds community among the participants, encourages a lifelong commitment to physical fitness and expands the participants’ frame of reference in coping with life challenges.
Good News Partners Christmas Store In the past, we had wish lists for specific families that others have been able to purchase gifts for. Under the new plan, GNP will have gift idea lists from the residents from which churches, organizations and individuals may purchase. The items go into the Christmas Store for the residents to purchase gifts for their own families. The Christmas Store is a fun, festive and entertaining experience for shoppers and volunteers.Residents are able to earn "jingle bucks" though a variety of opportunities throughout the year, such as taking an educational class, helping our rehab crew, babysitting or cleaning one of the GNP buildings