NOAH - Neighbors Organized for Adequate Housing
March 2010 · Issue XVIII
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Building Blocks Earns Five Star Rating

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NOAH Building BlocksWith the Olympics dominating news, a steady stream of world class athletes recited themes that led to their success: Hard work, training, dedication, focus, desire and determination.

They are common ingredients for excellence by high achievers across many disciplines, which is why Gladys Barber, Family Services Director at NOAH, used the same words to explain what propelled NOAH’s Building Blocks program to the top of Quality Counts’ new Five-Star rating system.

"We were assessed by Family Central, and we got our Five Star rating,"” Barber said. “This is the first year for the Five-Star, and we’re pretty pleased about that. The top rating had been four stars, but they were looking for more quality, so they upped the requirements.”

Barber wanted to be among the first in line to achieve the new, higher standard and talked about the hard work of her staff, the extra training they get to keep abreast of advancements in early childhood education, their dedication to the children, their focus on development of the whole child and their desire to improve living conditions for families in the Glades. They were determined to meet the higher standards – and they did. 

Quality Counts is a voluntary rating system for early care and education providers, which uses clearly defined methods to help prepare children to be eager and ready learners when they enter school. Read more »

NOAH Becomes a Host Site for Congregate Meals

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Congregate DiningLizzie Moore and Geraldine Peace know a good opportunity when it comes along, and that’s why they became the lead volunteers when NOAH decided to become a host site for Palm Beach County’s congregate meal program. 

As part of the program, the county provides cold breakfasts and hot lunches for residents of Glades Diamonds and Glades Pioneer Terrace Monday through Friday. The meals, which began on November 18, are served at Glades Pioneer because there is more room for residents to eat and socialize.

"It’s a real biggie because most of the residents are 62 and older and some are a lot older," said Shawn Bynum, manager for the Glades Diamond apartments in Belle Glade. "They don’t have to worry about, ‘Am I going to have something eat today’ or ‘am I going to have to cook.’ It takes pressure off of them, and that’s been the joy that I get out of it. They come, eat their meals and they immediately take their medications."

As many as 61 residents have taken advantage of the free meals at once, but on a daily basis about 35 come for each meal. Read more »

Glades Diamonds Residents Hit the Jackpot

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Grandparent ToyGlades Diamonds resident with a toy donated by AVDA for her to give to grandchild.

Bingo!

If you’re a resident of Glades Diamonds in Belle Glade, and you’re lucky enough to shout out “Bingo,” it means you’ve probably just won some household products.

Residents at NOAH properties have known for years that they could rely on West Palm Beach-based Reliance Home Health Care for blood pressure checks, diabetes screenings and other health care needs, but now, there’s a little bit more in it for them.

Once a month when Reliance visits Glades Diamonds to check on residents, about 15 participants take part in a game of bingo.

“It’s just a way to give back to the seniors,” said Shawn Bynum, manager for the Glades Diamond apartments in Belle Glade.

Bingo PrizesGlades Diamonds resident holding up her bingo winnings.

Some of the residents gladly displayed their winnings, which included laundry detergent and other household items. The game gives the residents something extra to look forward to, Bynum said.

There was plenty for them to do during the holidays. The Shriners served Christmas dinner to the seniors. Their pledges dressed in white made for elegant meal servers and delivered food to the homes of those who were sick and shut in.

AVDA (Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse, Inc.) came through for the residents by donating toys to the seniors. Seniors are not normal targets for toy giveaways, but Bynum Shrinersdeveloped a relationship with AVDA when she supervised NOAH’s parenting education program. AVDA was always a willing donor to that program and Bynum thought it would be great for them to enable seniors to have something to give to their grandchildren.

(photo left) Shriners and their pledges, who served dinner to residents at NOAH properties (Thomas Roberts, Shawn Bynum and Dorothy Gilbert are featured in the photo)

Flurry of Holiday Season Activities Keep NOAH Kids Happy

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NOAH ThanksgivingNOAH always makes sure holidays are special for the children in its childcare centers. So when the busiest holiday season rolls around, there is always a flurry of activity. Following are just a few some highlights from November and December:

NOAH ThanksgivingOn November 19, the Mary Alice Fortin Family Development Center in South Bay invited parents in for a Thanksgiving luncheon and parent meeting. It was a great opportunity for the parents to see what the children are learning and to ask questions of NOAH staff. And, of course, it’s a great time to enjoy good food. The children and their parents enjoyed a menu of turkey and the trimmings.

Christmas CarolsOn December 16, Fortin center staff had its “2009 Christmas Gathering Staff Meeting.” They had chicken, baked beans, rolls, potato pies and cake. They also exchanged gifts with their secret sisters.

On the same day, The Treasure Coast Early Steps Program sponsored its "2009 Christmas Gathering" at the Fortin Center. The Pre-K class entertained guests and parents by singing Christmas carols, and they performed a skit on birth of Christ. It was a good enough skit to impresses Santa. He arrived and gave all of the children gifts that were donated by the Fortin Foundation, Early Steps Program, Toys for Tots, and Back-to-Basics, Inc.

NOAH ChristmasIt’s been a cold winter, but the Fortin center pre-K class didn’t seem to mind the cold temperatures during a Dec. 17 geography lesson when they trekked through the North Pole (conveniently placed in Pahokee at New Hope Charities, which was hosting its annual toy giveaway). Santa was there again to give them gifts.