May 24, 2022 Meeting Report

Our guest Jenny Schneider, social worker for Two Rivers Public Schools, shared the "Kids at Home" philosophy along with efforts to support children in need in our school district.

May is Youth Service Month


Junior Rotarian A week in the life of a stellar student. Eleanor reported that students visiting from our sister city, Domažlice, will be arriving next week and she is making a banner. Musical auditions were also held yesterday. 
Sister City Celebration/Events were shared with an acknowledgement of our Club’s monetary contribution. The June 1st concert presents yet another concession opportunity for our Club.  Apparently, Czech’s like beer!  Jean Andrews will lead a cohort of Club members in providing this essential service for our guests and community. 
Jean Andrews provided an update on Bands in the Park and the Farmers/Craft Market starts. Events start Thursday night downtown. The more people who attend the market, the more it will grow. We need to help them to grow! Go buy some jelly or candles and enjoy musical guests Doctor Bombay from 6 to 8 pm. Also, don’t forget the Memorial Day parade is Monday at 9 am!
Michael Ditmer is organizing an end of the year party to celebrate the Changing of the Guard.
Sunrise, Noon and Two Rivers Clubs are planning a social. Stay tuned for more information.

Today's Program

The Kids at Home philosophy and helping disadvantaged children in Two Rivers

Jenny Schneider is the social worker for Two Rivers Public Schools. She was Dennis Swetlik’s guest on today’s program. Jenny has been here three years and was previously in Manitowoc’s schools for over 20 years. 

She traveled to Arizona for a Kids At Home master’s training four years ago with other professionals from the school district. The training made her realize she needed a change in her practice. 

The philosophy is based on the science of hope. It is a protocol of how we treat children. We believe in all kids, no exceptions. We do that by connecting with kids. Every child needs a champion in life, the person who held you accountable and cared. Third, we time travel with kids: you can see a future. 
One role in her district is to share that philosophy with all people who work in the district. 
Sometimes it sounds like all rainbows and unicorns, but it doesn’t mean a lack of accountability and expectation. 
Jenny introduced everyone to the Homelessness Protection Act: these are children who live in a hotel or sleep in a car or are doubled up with another family or on a couch or in shelters. 50 of our students in Two Rivers are considered homeless, about 25 families and she estimated it as a low number. There are more families that do not want to be identified for that service for various reasons.
Jenny praised several area organizations including Hope House, Grow It Forward, and TREP as places that provide hope and support for families in need.

Outside of the school system, she works with students who are somewhat disengaged in school. It can mean a variety of things, so one of her roles is to offer social skills groups, including one group that trains dogs in obedience but helps the students learn how to engage at the same time. She then works to transfer that engagement back into the classroom. She has a group at the middle school and a high schooler who has attained the highest level of dog obedience training.

She also talked about a growing and making group, such as making meals for families that Jenny visits. The kids build a menu, go grocery shopping and make the food. “It’s a win-win, helping students build a capacity for service in themselves and others.”

Jenny concluded: “I think our kids at home philosophy is something we all believe in, whether old, young, good, naughty. We believe in them all and I'm honored to be able to do this work and be a part of this great community.”

How can the community help support these efforts? Number one, be a champion for kids, she suggested. If you have the desire and interest, it may be as simple as calling a student each morning, giving them a ride to school, buying them shoes. At the beginning of the year, shoes are a really big deal for families. Sneakers or winter boots are often not in the budget. Giving them a gift card can make a big difference. 
Jenny shared that the school needs to raise about $15,000 per year to ensure that the fund is sufficient to help area families in need.
If anyone is interested, Jenny can be contacted through the Two Rivers Public Schools website.

Club Operations

📰  Check the program schedule for your next chance to contribute to meeting programming. You can find the program schedule on the home page of the website in the downloads section toward the bottom of the page. (Direct link to the program schedule)

📀 Rotary Club digital repository. Todd N. provided an update on document storage using Google Drive. The next step is for the committee to meet and discuss an inventory of the documents to store there, along with how to structure the folders to that materials may be easily found.

Club Secretary opportunity. After many years of service as Club Secretary, Colleen Inman has announced plans to step down from this role. Detailed instructions and mentorship is available. Deb B. has declared her interest to partner with another member in this role. Deb and Colleen have been meeting to ensure a smooth transition of power.  However, we still need one more volunteer to work with Deb. Please consider the opportunity to express the Rotary ideal of service in the above role, soon!

Club Events / Service Opportunities

🍽 🚗  Meals on Wheels, May 16-20 Thanks to all of those who have stepped up to serve our community’s most vulnerable citizens

💰 District Grant (2022-23) Betty B. shared an update on the Peace Pole project. The Peace Pole says “May Peace Prevail on Earth.” A location at the high school has been identified so that kids will have easy access to it. Maintenance is working with us for a concrete slab and we plan to set up three metal benches. The poll will be surrounded by flowers. It will be a nice, peaceful area for kids to gather, reflect and have a quiet space. We moved it away from the main entrance so that it will be quiet. We plan to have a dedication and contact the news station. Hopefully, this will be the beginning of Two Rivers being designated an International City of Peace (there are no others in Wisconsin).
🎸 🏖 Bands on the Beach 2022  The Club will participate at just one event. The new process and schedule remain to be defined. 
🍎 Applefest 2022 is scheduled for October 8th. The Lions Club wishes to transfer “ownership” and control of this annual event to another community organization. A Club committee meeting is scheduled for next week to formalize plans, get vendors, and to set up apple orchards to participate. If you are interested in serving on the committee, it meets next Tuesday, May 31st, from 4-5 pm at the fire hall.  
💰Fundraising Donation for Central Park West 365 Project At the City Council meeting on June 20th, we will present a check to the city for the Central Park West 365 project. Betty encourage as many Club members as possible to attend this 6 pm meeting.

Looking Ahead...

🌎 World Affairs Seminar Reimagining Global Health and Wellness: Contagious Ideas will be held on Saturday, June 18 – Friday, June 24, 2022  Promote World Affairs Seminar information at the high school. There is one student with interest at this time. A members suggested that we reach out to the returning Europe trip kids as a natural fit for this Seminar.
🎓 Promote the Rotary Club of Two Rivers Scholarship at the high school.  Two (2) worthy recipients have been awarded $1000 scholarships: one seeking EMT training and the other training in cybersecurity.  They will receive their scholarships at a May 25th ceremony. The Club will welcome the students on June 14 at which the actual checks will be given to the students and will be sent on to LTC.
And, looking way ahead. Interest was expressed in resurrecting the idea of a Rotary Float as a highlight of the 2022 Christmas Parade. This would be a fine idea to kick off our Club’s Centennial Year! We can check and see if the Rotary Rose Parade float is available for our local use 🎅🏻 🎄

District Activities

💵. Happy Bucks gives us the opportunity for each member to share their personal “quips and quotes” of experiences over the past week.
  • Several people celebrated that Deborah has stepped up for the secretary position and for Colleen’s years of service in this role.
  • Others wished to celebrate the two scholarship winners.
Birthday and Anniversary Report
Betty Bittner (5/16)  🎂
  Next week’s program will be our Fifth Tuesday Social
2021-22 Board Members:
President: Steve Denzien
President-Elect: Michael Ditmer
Secretary: Colleen Inman
Treasurer: Jeff Zimmerlee
Past President: Betty Bittner
Members at large: Betty Bittner, Jeff Zimmerlee, Steve Romero
(Today's Image source is from the Lester Public Library)