Weekly Highlights August 18 – 22, 2014

This week at AHEG as always we are exploring various cultures including their art, cuisine, fashion and music. This month the 300 side is studying Italy, the Italian renaissance and ancient Rome.  In correlation with said curriculum students traveled on an outing to the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in downtown Sacramento with their Art Program Instructor and assisting staff. They enjoyed a tour of the renovated cathedral in order to see firsthand, renaissance style art and architecture. Although some of its interior was contemporary due to renovations it’s still retained much of its traditional structure including beautiful narrative stained glass windows, a stained glass dome 125 feet high and a full mosaic baptismal pool. The clients marveled the multifaceted sights, were able to ask many questions and take pictures at their leisure. They ended their tour for a picnic in the park outside of city hall before returning to program.

The clients also created their own Venetian style mosaic frames, with real plaster and ceramic tiles. Some students created a rainbow and others an intricate pattern. Many students began very detailed tempera paintings on canvas of their chosen images inspired by classical Italian artists of the enlightenment including but limited to Leonardo Da Vinci, Bernini, Botticelli and more. Many of them used the aforementioned outing as inspiration to work on their paintings of statues, reproduce famous paintings, or mosaic tile their own picture frames.

To round off the week for Fun Friday, we all strutted our stuff in a ‘Global Fashion Show’! In the show every client and staff alike came dressed to represent their own heritage or a country or culture which they loved and were proud of. We sported every type of fashion from Samoa to Hawaii, Pakistan to Philippines, Mexico, Cambodia and everything in between! Then afterwards several staff came out to show their own unique talents. Suite #300’s Music Instructor Cody representing Hawaii paraded his surfboard. Aid Quran from room 2 represented Africa, showing us all a basket weaving technique and Art Instructor Shalimar from Suite #300 representing Pakistan, showed off her hoop dancing skills. The fashion show was a great success! At the end of the day clients were awarded with certificates for their awesome fashion displays while they engaged in a joyful dance party and volleyball session! Ending another wonderful week here at AimHigher 
– Elk Grove, Over ‘n’ out! 

Weekly Highlights August 25 – 29, 2014

Here at Elk Grove we began the week with enthusiasm as usual. The clients slowly got back into their regular routines, and the staff got prepared for another eventful week! When I asked one of our clients about his favorite part of this week, he began to tell me about his trip to the Church of the Blessed – Sacramento. Client Irving T. explained, “My favorite part was going to the catholic church. It was a cathedral and we seen pictures of the Virgin Mary, and the beautiful colors of the windows.” Irving T. continued to use what he learned in Art & Expression Instructor Shalimar’s class, to give us a visual of what he had seen at church on this Monday. We were all able to imagine what the church was like, and he even got a few of the clients excited and wanting to go. When they got back to program many of the clients tried to recreate the paintings they learned and seen from the church. Irving T. was very pleased with his recreation of Virgin Mary.

Meanwhile, carrying on with their sock monkey adventures, Functional Education group took all the clients to the mall. All the clients filled the bus with their necessities and their stuffed friends. At the mall they took pictures of their sock monkeys to add to their books. While they were there they enjoyed the scenary of the mall, and some even rode the carousel. Assistant Arleeta said, “Everyone was great and really into the task at hand. They were all coming up with great places to take a picture of with their monkeys. It was a fun adventure for everyone!” After everyone was finished with capturing the times with the animals, some enjoyed a scoop of ice cream from Cold Stone and headed back to program!

Chef Tom stopped by this week with a highlight of his own! He showed all us a healthier, tastier way of eating the things we loved. Chef Tom showed us a simple recipe of Steak Lettuce Wraps. Using some of the techniques we learned from previous classes with Chef Tom, we sautéed, chopped and munched on a new program favorite! We even topped it with a homemade peanut sauce with tasty ingredients. Chef Tom highlighted client, Andre H. for going above and beyond in his class. He continued to tell all the staff how he was more than pleased with Andre’s manners.

Arts & Expression did a group painting of a mountain, sunset landscape with a “rasta-farian” theme. Client Michael Ngo named it “Jamaican me crazy.” Instructor Emanuel took their group on an outing to see a street art exhibition called “Art of the dumpster”. Clients observed the painted dumpsters and enjoyed lunch at a nearby park.

For Fun Friday we had a special visitor stop by, Officer Michael Bradley. Officer Bradley gave us a fun presentation on drinking and driving, sobriety testing and even pulled some people from the audience to help him out! The clients were really excited to meet him and the best part was checking out his patrol car!

As we get ready for our three day weekend, we ended our afternoon here at Aim Higher by celebrating August Birthdays. The celebrants were given Birthday Cards and clients cheerfully sang “Happy Birthday” to the birthday celebrants. Clients enjoyed ice cream and danced the afternoon away as it was almost time to go home. As each client left program, they were sad to not be here at program on Monday as I overheard client Cristina G. say to a staff member “We’re going to miss you!” but, she was happy to be home as she enjoyed her three day weekend to spend time with family and their loved ones! Have a fantastic weekend!