The Studio Blog Archive

A few posts we've written over the years

Mental Health

Attachment and Parenting
Child and Caregiver

By Emily Jensby, LCMFT and Cindie Silmon, LCMFT​

Parenting can be an overwhelming job. We often worry about many aspects of raising healthy children. We make decisions such as what to feed them, discipline approaches, age appropriate toys and overall how to ensure they succeed in a demanding world. While all these things are important, one of the biggest things to help a child succeed is ensuring they have a secure attachment to a caregiver.

Historically, parents didn’t see attachment as important, believing that young children would not remember these experiences.  However, research has discovered early attachment is critical to the well-being and future mental health of children as they grow. Secure attachment has shown to improve social-emotional functioning and the ability to establish meaningful relationships in life.

Secure attachment is providing a consistent relationship where a child feels confident that the caregiver will provide for their physical, emotional and social needs. This provides a sense of safety to your child. Different ways you can provide this for your child include:

  • Soothing an upset/crying infant or child (letting them know you will help them with tough emotions)
  • Smiling and showing interest in your child and things that interest them
  • Giving them positive attention
  • Providing physical affection
  • Being dependable
  • Spending time with your child doing enjoyable activities

Remember: You have an important role in ensuring your child can succeed in the future. For more information regarding attachment

2019 Camp Woodchuck

A Life Changing Experience

By Lynlea Southards, Family Support Services Program Coordinator

Camp Woodchuck 2019 was a huge success and a summer that will be cherished in our hearts and minds forever. This year at camp there were 86 camp staff and 115 campers. It was amazing to watch all the relationships develop and grow. The staff built relationships with the campers that will have a lifelong impact on the campers as well as the staff. Many staff shared that the kids made a life changing impact on them that they are so grateful for and will never forget. It was exciting to watch the campers grow socially and their smiles warmed the hearts of everyone around them.

One of the many adventures at camp this year that encouraged a great amount of social growth for the campers were the weekly choir trips. Every week the campers visited a community partner and performed three choir songs. Each week during the performance, the campers showed more confidence, smiles and engagement with their audience. After the performance the campers would introduce themselves and hand out thank you cards and small crafts they had made. It was truly an experience that brought happiness to the campers and those in the community.

The Field trips this summer here always full of adventure and fun!  The Sedgwick County Zoo, Moxi Junction and the splash pad were a few of the favorites this year. The kids loved getting out and visiting the wild animals at the zoo. They ordered, purchased and enjoyed a cookie from Moxi Junction and cooled off from the summer heat at the splash pad. The campers and staff always had fun stories and were so excited to share their field trip experiences.

Every Friday during camp there was a special event. The event everyone is still talking about is the Talent Show. The kids did an incredible job! There were group, duets, and solo acts. The talents were so amazing and many of the campers showed courage and conquered their fears. The families, staff and the campers were proud of the success and the way each performer showed their unique personality and how truly inspiring there are.

As camp ended there were goodbyes, hugs and tears from campers and staff. All voiced their excitement for next year and gratefulness for the experience. The memories of Camp Woodchuck 2019 will be shared and cherished. We look forward to next summer and all the fun and adventures that Camp Woodchuck 2020 will bring!

A Rainbows’ Tradition

All Staff InService Day

This year’s All Staff Inservice Day was held on Monday, August 5 at Botanica, Wichita Gardens. The day is set aside to gather employees, celebrate successes, honor staff milestones and cast a vision for Rainbows’ future. Board Chair, Janeen Hughes helped welcome employees as they arrived.

The theme for this year’s event was centered on the Guiding Principle of: Demonstrate leadership in our industry. It integrates well with our Strategic Focus Area to Promote Talent Development by attracting, retaining, and supporting world-class talent.

Leadership is defined as a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more coherent and cohesive. A good leader is one who is always three steps ahead of the others. She looks out for the people before herself. ”I see several individuals with these characteristics in the room today,” said Deb Voth, President.

One area of leadership at Rainbows is Technology. The myEvolv client data base system that allows for easier access to data on a child over their lifetime of services is a huge step in technology. Rainbows is the very first Netsmart customer to implement the myEvolv Anywhere system that allows a therapist to input data at the in-home visit and have it automatically downloaded when connected to wifi.

Soon to come will be the myHealthPointe parent portal that will provide new communication options for families to access appointments, documents and reports, plus communicate with therapists, case managers and other staff.

Deb shared progress on the Strategic Plan and the Voice of the Employee survey results including: above industry benchmark ratings on Company Pride, staff thinking highly of Rainbows’ services as well as recommending Rainbows a place to work.

We celebrated with the Development team on raising more than $1.2 million for operations and exceeding this year’s fundraising goal.

A significant number of corporate volunteers have made several projects possible at all 3 Rainbows’ locations over the past year. There are more projects and volunteer groups in the works.

Vice President of Human Resources Gay Kimble challenged all staff to see how they are leaders in their present position contributing to the Rainbows’ mission. Both Alice Boutz, Mental Health Specialist, and Dr. Patrick Washington, Audiologist, shared their view of leadership in their roles.

Taking the opportunity to be a leader for United Way of the Plains, Rainbows kicked off our Employee campaign, educated staff on the importance of contributions, and drew among givers for prizes.

Board Member, Michelle Lohmeier, Strategic Advisor to Spirit AeroSystems, shared several leadership examples throughout her career in military aerospace. She cited Relationship Building as Key, Diplomacy not Defensiveness, and Transparency Trumps Emotion as leadership qualities that made a difference in her experiences. She encouraged everyone to lead from within and not be limited by other’s expectations.

Employees who have been at Rainbows for one year were honored with their 1 year pin. Those who have served 5 years received their 5 year clocks. Five-year award recipients were Andrew Walston, Accountant, Finance Department; Kristin McCleerey, Speech Language Pathologist with CBETS; Kelly Welch, Speech Language Pathologist, Sedgwick County Infant/Toddler Services; Katherine Bally, Speech Language Pathologist, Sedgwick County Infant/Toddler Services; Amy Williams, Speech Language Pathologist with CBETS; Tammy Gream, Social Worker, Sedgwick County Infant/Toddler Services; Angela Kessler, Vice President of Development; Cyndie Silmon, Mental Health Specialist; Olga Valenciana, Family Case Manager, Sedgwick County Infant/Toddler Services; and Stefanie Loubert, Lead Teacher, Kids’ Point Early Care and Education.

Two employees have reached the 10 year mark and will be included in 10:15+ Club activities: Kathy Van Zelfden, Mental Health Services and Calley Kinchion, Family Support Services.

Peggy Burns was recognized as the 2018 Prism Award recipient.

The afternoon training was provided by Dr. Jennifer Francois with Kansas State University on Math Literacy for Young Children.

Summer at Kids’ Point

Learning and Growing

By Lucy Cook, Rainbows’ Para-professional

My first summer at Kids’ Point was such a blast. This is my first year as a para-professional for the kids aged 3-5 years at Rainbows, and it couldn’t be better. It seems like every day is a new surprise. We have been engaging with food, gardening, water play, and so much more. There has been so much learning and growth for all of us.

The kiddos and I aren’t the only ones growing. With the new box gardens installed, there was always something new sprouting. We’ve had a delicious harvest so far, granting opportunities to try many different fruits and vegetables. In addition to the gardens, various classrooms have been observing plants in the classroom. Growing sprouts from seeds, trying new foods, and learning about the parts of a plant have all been a part of the curriculum.

Splash days are truly the best days at Kids’ Point. We pull out the kiddie pools and everyone gets to go swimming! It is such a great way to beat the Kansas summer heat and introduce new ways to play. I personally love when we break out the squirt guns and the kids decide to “wash” the building. Water play is an important part of sensory development, and the different pools and water tables we use allow all of our friends to stay engaged, even if they have certain sensory aversions to water. One of my favorite parts of the summer has been seeing some kids start the summer reluctant to enter the pool and ending their summer splashing around with friends. This job is full of wonderful little victories.

In my short time in this position, I have learned so much more about childcare and early childhood education. That is thanks to my team. All of my co-workers have been extremely kind and considerate as I have come into this new position in their classrooms. They take the time to check in with me and open discussion for how we care for our kiddos, and how we can grow with them. I have observed many different ways to love and educate each child to accommodate their needs and desires. As I continue my education through WSU to become a speech-language pathologist, I know I am learning tools and experiences that I can use to help other children in the future (maybe even at Rainbows!).

“Lucy began at Rainbows as a volunteer, and then joined our Rainbows’ staff,” said Michelle Croomes, Early Childhood Education and CBETS Coordinator. “I have loved watching Lucy grow in her interactions with our students here at Kids’ Point. She is always seeking out new learning opportunities, and this semester she will be observing how speech therapy is conducted in our CBETS program. We are proud to be part of her education and happy to have her as a member of the Rainbows’ family.”