The Studio Blog Archive
A few posts we've written over the years
We are living and working in an exciting time. Innovation is everywhere. Because of this, we must also evolve from the way we utilize data to the experiences we create with the children and families we serve to how we work together. In April, we asked our employees to reveal what they believed their work experiences could or should be. The survey was bigger than just Rainbows; it compared results for both not-for-profit and for-profit businesses. We received a detailed explanation of the survey results this past summer.
Some of the Key Findings were:
- What Company Pride do you have? One of the responses received was “I love the mission of the organization, and the dedication of the staff to fulfill our mission.” Another employee responded “I love the support ITS (Infant Toddler Services) provides for families. I believe in our mission to help families.”
- What do you love? One of the responses received was “I love my children and families and the opportunity to help them help their children achieve their potential. The rewards are fantastic! I love my coworkers. They are truly best friends and family. I love being trusted to do a professional job.” “Culture and communication” as well as “positive influence on the community” were also highlighted.
- Why do you do the work you do? “Employees at Rainbows do their jobs with more passion than I have seen at any of my other jobs,” and many people indicated their “work is meaningful and the results are satisfying.”
- What keeps you up at night?” Responses included “Little pay for a job that plays a large role in the organization,” and “Being a non-profit, we aren’t paid like we would be paid were we in a private setting.”
Rainbows’ services are unique. It is great to know our staff are passionate about the services they provide as well as the the services delivered by their co-workers. Flexibility combined with the impact on children and families are strong motivators for passionate professionals who find satisfaction in their careers at Rainbows.
- Deb Voth, President
Rainbows' Early Intervention Services
A cutie with a big smile and a lot of curly hair, Kaia steals hearts everywhere she goes. Born right on time, Kaia was diagnosed at 6 months with Hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess fluid builds up in the brain and causes pressure in the head. “Fluid on her brain made her uncomfortable and she hasn’t felt good for much of her life so far,” said Jayne her mother. “She’s been through 8 surgeries in her first year and is finally able to focus on getting mobile.”
Jayne and Kaia got connected to Rainbows when she was 8 months old through a friend who thought Rainbows would be a good fit for Kaia’s needs. Their Primary Coach, Linda Cathey, Physical Therapy Assistant, works with Kaia on crawling, standing and building her language skills. “Now that Kaia isn’t in pain, we are able to help her catch up on developmental milestones like walking and talking,” said Linda. “Her mom has been a huge advocate in getting Kaia the help that she needs and helping Kaia progress in her skills. Kaia has a giant sized personality. She can be hilarious, sassy, sweet, loving - all in the space of a few minutes. She definitely doesn’t let her medical problems get in her way.”
Jayne is excited for Kaia to walk down the aisle with her when she gets married in a few months, “It will be wonderful to see Kaia up and moving just like other children her age,” said Jayne. “Even if she has a walker to help her get down the aisle, I’m pretty sure she will steal the show.”
-Carol Martin, Finance Department, Rainbows United
A Kansas autumn is primetime for family fun, inside and outdoors. There are so many creative and new ideas and activities to share with your children this year, and the Wichita area is the place to be for low-tech entertainment.
Kansas has a brand-new state park! Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park will open on Saturday, October 12, in western Kansas. It’s a four-hour drive from Wichita, between Scott City and Oakley. These 100-foot-tall chalk formations make for dramatic vistas during hikes.
Challenge your kids to an arcade game throwdown at The Arcade in Old Town. On Throwback Thursdays from 6-10 p.m., pinball games are 25 cents each and snacks are drinks are half price. This retro business houses 77 pinball and arcade games from the 80s and 90s, including Pac-Man, Galaga and TMNT.
Girls 8-14 interested in flying should register online now for the Girls in Aviation Day, October 5 at the Kansas Aviation Museum. There they can use airplane mechanic tools, meet women in aerospace careers and try their hand at aeronautical design.
Bike Walk Wichita needs weekly drop-in volunteers to repair and clean donated bicycles bound for organizations that identify deserving kids. If your kids are age 8 and over, they are welcome to help on Tuesday and Thursdays from 6-8 p.m. and 1-4 p.m. on Saturday afternoons.
Arkansas City, Goddard, Rose Hill, Clearwater, Valley Center, Kechi, Andover, Wamego, Maize and several other communities are celebrating autumn with fall festivals. Most are held during the weekends in September and October and feature parades, kite flying demos, crafts, car shows, carnivals, food and family fun.
Franklin Sports will host the inaugural Pickleball Masters Invitational Tournament at Chicken N Pickle on September 21-22. Weekend passes and courtside seating are already sold out, but general admission tickets of $10 are still available both days. Players will compete for the largest individual purse prize in pickleball history.
Outdoor Kansas for Kids Day will be held at El Dorado State Park on Saturday, October 5, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be a fishing derby, archery, trap shooting, horse rides and a free lunch. This program is designed to get families together, doing outdoor activities and enjoying natural Kansas.
It’s a bit pricey, but if you live in Kansas, going to the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival is a rite of passage. Held annually in Winfield, this internationally famous event brings entertainers and music lovers from the four corners of the earth. This year’s festival is September 18-22. Spend a day or a week, it’s worth it.
For fall farm fun, try a trip to a pumpkin patch or corn maze. New for this year is Cedar Creek Farm in Maize, along with regulars like Walter’s, Applejack, P and M Pumpkin Ranch, Meadowlark Farm, Sunny Side, Mr. Gourdman’s and Klausmeyer Dairy Farm and Pumpkin Patch. Sadly, several former fall fun farms have closed, like Cox Farm, Bergmann Corn Maze, Papa’s Pumpkin Patch and Gaeddert Farms.
It’s not too early to start planning Halloween costumes (October 31 is less than six weeks away). One of the hottest trends in the last few years are group costumes, like crayons, decks of cards or M&Ms, Disney characters like the Seven Dwarfs, or even Taco Bell hot, mild and fire sauces.
All these group costumes can be easily constructed with discount store t-shirts and a bit of creativity. Check out Pinterest or DIY Network for easy to follow directions. Other great places for costume ideas are Party City, discount, secondhand or thrift stores. Raiding closets at home can result in fun hats, crazy ties, colorful jackets and funny t-shirts. Just add vivid makeup and a single-colored outfit underneath and you’re ready to scour the city for candy.
Toddlers look great in a sweet getup like a penguin, tiger, cactus, salad, strawberry or Mr. Potatohead. These also can be made from inexpensive t-shirts or rompers. Fabric or glitter pens are available at most craft stores, along with felt, foam, nylon netting and tissue paper. All you’ll need to finish are scissors, safety pins and fabric glue.
Stress-free is key with kids’ Halloween costumes. Sweet and simple is the way to go and homemade not only saves money, but you and your kids get to be creative together. For more great events in Kansas this fall, check out Wichita on the Cheap or the Wichita Eagle. Your kids are growing up fast. Make sure to savor some fall time together. Get outside and play!
“This past year, I have worked with a child who has Apraxia, a condition in which his brain knows what he wants to say but the message gets lost on the way to his mouth,” said Kristin McCleerey, Speech Language Pathologist. “When I started working with him, he was unable to articulate words. He’s made so much progress.”
Rainbows provides services to not only children, but also works with the family. Kristin worked with the parents and provided materials to help them help their son. She said, “They took the materials and ran with them. That’s so important.”
“It took a team of teachers, myself, and most importantly his parents, and now that child is using words. It’s super exciting to watch him gaining confidence and realize I was a part of his success,” Kristin said.
Kristin is part of the Rainbows’ Community Based Education and Training Services (CBETS) team. The CBETS team works with children ages 3-5 years old in community childcare centers, home daycares and preschools. Kristin usually sees 5-8 children a day, visiting 1-4 sites each day. “I love my supervisor and co-workers, and that I am able to travel around the city to various locations to regularly visit children with speech and language needs,” she said.
“Kristin is always researching new ideas, consulting with colleagues, and collaborating with other professionals that are working with her students,” said Michelle Croomes, Early Care and Education + CBETS Coordinator. “She truly cares about the students she serves.”
Kristin graduated from Wichita State University with a Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She will celebrate her five year anniversary with Rainbows in Fall 2019. “Enjoying the moment with a child when she is finally able to make the sound she’s been working on for a long time is one of my favorite parts of my job,” said Kristin. “Seeing the children grow in their skills and hearing their speech and language improve is an awesome thing!”