Friends of Irreducible Grace Foundation, March 2020
As the snow has melted and the clocks have sprung ahead, IGF has kept moving as well. Over the last month we concluded workshops with a girls group home, and are finishing up with District 622 teaching 3rd and 4th grade students breath tools.
We had a very successful kick off to a year-long partnership with The SweatShop a fitness center on Snelling and Selby. The IGF team lead a mini-workshop with roughly 30 participants. The Sweatshop staff is now incorporating the skills they learned into their classes. We are well on our way to the $10,000 goal that Gayle, (SweatShop Owner) set as a goal for 2020. The fundraiser kickoff total was $1,815.
We completed a strategic planning process with Dr. Talaya Tolefree of Koinonia Leadership Academy and Dr. Block of Sankore Consulting, last fall and have been putting their recommendations into action. IGF now has a model of individual and workshop team growth measures! We started rolling out these pieces last week and the young people are excited about it! We call this work “Pillars of Engagement”. Through this process the young people get to pick an area for their individual focus, either Spiritual and Mental Well-Being, Physical Health, Financial Health and Housing, or Cultural Grounding. We will plan our future Self-Care Sundays around these topics, reaching out into the community for expertise to share with our group. We also have our Bethel University Social Work Interns conducting weekly check-ins and support sessions with the young people on their focus area.
Speaking of community, we received a grant from the Catalyst Initiative to expand our health, wellness and healing from trauma work in our community over the next two years. We will begin this work in the coming week by developing curriculum that can be implemented with children as young as six years old. Our hope is to teach them skills to help regulate their nervous systems to respond to emotionally triggering situations in the best way possible. For there to be change in our community around self-care, caring for others and stopping harmful situations we must “teach the babies” as Sam Simmons, of Simmons Consulting, has taught us, to break cycles of inter-generational trauma. We whole-heartily thank the Catalyst Initiative, and especially Suzanne Koepplinger for these funds to expand our work!!!!! If you want more info on the grant please visit the Catalyst Initiative's 2020 grant recipient announcement here.
May the warmth of the sun reach you wherever you are and know that you are in our thoughts!
Self-Care Sunday Update
Submitted by Justin Haughton, Bethel Social Work Intern
The month of March has brought about the process of bonding and community building within the IGF community. During this past Self-Care Sunday, the IGF Gold Team began laying out the groundwork for the upcoming workshops and training for the young people to showcase their skills.
As Dr. Fry and the internship team began serving and preparing the food, Ruth and Natalia, two prominent members of the IGF community, began building the space for all the young people to engage in the meeting. The IGF community was also very privileged to hear from and share the art of Chel, a young gold team member, that not only inspired the team to think about vulnerability within the space, but also remind everyone of the importance of the work that IGF is doing within the community.
Likewise, IGF began utilizing the Pillars of Engagement Assessment tool with the young people. This assessment tool is designed to help IGF staff develop the young people’s overall well-being and awareness to a level that they deem desirable. As the young people continue to grow in the team, this assessment is used to monitor how their personal growth is coming along. Wellness is a voyage that the IGF team is dedicated to helping our young people achieve throughout their life journey.