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Swap & Share

Here at AK Child & Family, we have a talented, creative, and generous bunch of staff. In early August, when we got together for our monthly “all-staff” gathering, we harnessed some of that talent, creativity & generosity in a roundtable-style workshop where staff shared ideas and resources for working with our students.

Six volunteer table hosts facilitated sharing around topics such as regulation activities, group skill building, outdoor pursuits, therapeutic arts & crafts ideas, as well as gardening & cooking tips. In a fast-paced hour, staff moved between the various tables or stations, picking up new tips from colleagues that they may not run into on a daily basis, and sharing ideas of their own.

Ideas shared during the workshops included recipes for edible “play-doh,” make-your-own stress balls, and glitter timers made out of old soda bottles. There were instructions on how to run a psychodrama group, creative activity guidelines shared on how to teach transitional-aged youth about sexual health through the use of M&M candies, and suggestions for how to use electronics, movies & TV shows in new and therapeutic ways. Staff had fantastic ideas on what to do with a rotisserie chicken, as well as tips on where to buy locally; others at the “Delish” table shared success stories on tried and tested methods of incorporating fresh fruit & veggies into meals (ever grate some fresh Alaskan-grown carrots into that popular spaghetti or pizza sauce?). Somebody had great success with a shaving cream art project and another person shared a web address where motivational quotes can be printed out for coloring & wall décor.

Alberta shares ideas for involving our students in both indoor & outdoor therapeutic gardening projects.

Kristie (below) showcases some of the great resources available in our clinical library (and learns about some great new resources, too!)

Our All-Staff “Swap & Share” was based loosely on the World Café ( model of workshop facilitation – a model designed to promote “collaborative dialogue around questions that matter in service of the real work.” Thanks to all our AK Child & Family staff for the real work that you do.

As workshop participants discovered at the “Up, Down, Turnaround” Regulation table, bubble blowing can be a great stress reliever.