Weekly Highlights June 23 – 27, 2014

We started off this week welcoming a new member to our Aim Higher family, Rachel to the team. Rachel wasted no time jumping right into daily routines and getting to know each and every client. She seems to be very interested in learning all the “ins and outs” of the company and is very proactive with the clients. When I asked Rachel how her first day went and what her favorite part of the program was so far, she expressed to me how she enjoyed just taking a step back and observing so she could have a better understanding of what she would be doing. She continued to explain, “I like how each client has their own personality, and enjoy observing everyone’s different way of interacting with each other.” We all agree that Rachel will fit right in here at Elk Grove with her outgoing personality and eagerness to learn!

Suite 300 Outing

This week in 300, they continued to teach the clients about money management. A few of the clients headed to Thunder Valley for a lucky day of fun. With their pockets full of just a few dollars and a few coins the clients and staff attempted to test their luck at the casino. They very soon found out that a few dollars do not get them very far even on the penny machine, and from this adventure they were able to grasp the concept of the value of money quite quickly. While some doubled their money others enjoyed just walking around and observing. After all the excitement, they had a nice lunch together in the food court until it was time to head back to program.

Life Skills

As the weather heated up here in Elk Grove, we found fun ways to keep cool. This week in Life Skills the class whipped up some all fruit smoothies with a healthy recipe that only consist of strawberries, bananas, blueberries, ice and sunny delight. All the clients agreed it was more than refreshing and equally easy to make! The smoothie was a great and simple way to keep cool that the clients can apply their teachings to stay cool at home as well!

Functional Education

Quran lead her rambunctious group to the Maidu museum this week to continue to teach them about the virtues of honor. The Maidu museum filled with information about culture, they were able to see how different cultures view honor.

Sewing Class

Sewing class seems to be getting very popular! The clients are currently working on designing aprons for cooking and painting class. Clients were able to pick from their favorite designs (49er patterns, flower patterns etc) and start their design. Vocational Instructor, Jan assisted everyone with the machine. All the clients were very pleased with their creations and were more than eager to model and show off what they had created!

Fun Friday!

This Fun Friday was a day of relaxation, recreation, fun and food as all the staff and clients headed over to the local park. We all enjoyed delicious hamburgers prepared and grilled by Chef Flora and her Sioux chefs, Shalimar, Arnold, and Maribeth. The client’s indulged in enriching activities and great conversations amongst their closest peers.  Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the outing and can’t wait to do something similar again!


Weekly Highlights June 9-13, 2014

As the sun soared over Elk Grove, we all prepared for the heat wave. While some of our clients decided to stay cool indoors, others got their hands dirty with an outing at the park. Art Instructor Emanuel took the clients to a local park for some recreation and some outside art. Art Aide Ashley G. snapped a few pictures of the fun. Client Alejandro B. posed for a picture during their art game about colors, where they learned how different colors can have different meanings and portrayed a certain way depending on the aspect you look at the color. It was a great way to get free of the daily routines of being confined in the classroom and bring art, landscape and beautiful weather together!

This week was the event of United Way’s Annual Toilet Paper Drive. Assistant’s Arleeta and Jose led some of our most dedicated clients to the Arden area to give back to the community. The clients all volunteered holding signs, organizing and boxing toilet paper to give to those in need. It was a great way to show the clients the importance of giving back to the community and also to be appreciative for what we have. Clients Neville K., Irving T., Dushnie Y., Desda B., Alex P., and Andre H., Albert K. all marched back into program with huge smiles on their face and matching vibrant blue t-shirts that were given for their time. We all could not wait to hear the stories and excitement they had to share with us about their exciting adventures of volunteering.

Functional Education instructor covered the rules of integrity and honor this week. All clients brainstormed and explained to the class what their individual honor code was and what integrity meant to them. Instructor Mari was excited to express how client Matthew P. really got into the activity. Matthew kept repeating, “honor and love…love and honor” which was what he thought of integrity. Together as a whole, the class decided that being honest meant to never steal, or lie and to always do the right thing. Everyone went home on Thursday with a new goal; to fulfill their honor codes and teach them to their families and loved ones!


Vocational Aide, Turontae’s highlight this week was not an event, but actually a client that caught his eye. Turontae was more than ecstatic to share with us about new client Brandon W. and how he’s getting adjusted to the program. Turontae and Instructor Jan are working with new client Brandon W., who transferred from Roseville, with getting comfortable with his transition. Turontae says, “Brandon is working hard to improve hisself daily even if it’s just a small task daily. I was really happy when he voluntarily helped me put away the chairs after a MP room event yesterday, it’s just the little stuff that shows he’s trying!”

On the other side of the building they were creating a fun, summer like treat they named; “No bake fruit cake.’ This delicious fruit cake was made, measured out, and formed by the client’s and then passed out for everyone to try! The cake consist of graham cracker, condensed milk, fruit cocktail, all-purpose cream and a few other ingredients that were kept a secret for the traditional family recipe. Everyone enjoyed the cake and even went back for seconds. It was a nice easy dish for the clients to make at home and staff to enjoy as well.

Every Fun Friday is filled with something new from the clients. This Friday we all crammed in the MP room for another exciting round of ELK GROVE’S got talent. During the week of 15 brave clients signed up for the chance to participate in our homemade talent show. Three judges were picked to judge the clients and pick the best talent. The talents this week arranged from singing to dancing to playing instruments! It was great to see all the client’s creativity and different talents. It was even more awesome to see clients break out of their shell and share with us their most favorite past times, whether singing or telling a joke. After Elk Grove’s got talent, we all had lunch in the MP room, a large plate of spaghetti and meatballs, chicken salad, and water.  The afternoon consisted of the perfect attendance awards, where over 45 clients received an award and a another chance at winning a free lunch with staff! It was another successful week here at Elk Grove, that flew by. Now we rest, and get ready to do it all over again next week with our amazing clients!