Monday, April 30, 2018

A Culture of Unity

Last month, Imagine! employee Chris Barker displayed a great example of compassion in the workplace. It was a Friday evening and he was walking to his car to check out for the weekend. Upon entering his vehicle, he noticed a friend of the Imagine! community, Jessie Irvin, struggling in her wheelchair. He left his car and walked over to her. Jessie’s wheel chair battery had suddenly lost power and she fell forward out of her chair. Chris entered the situation as she was hoisting herself back into the chair with a scraped hand and a wheelchair with no juice. “The main power source in the back on the battery came undone,” said Jesse.

Chris recruited help from Imagine!’s front desk and the Human Resources office, and then assisted Jesse into the Imagine! building. Dealing with no power, Chris shifted the chair settings to manual. “Chris was great. He helped and it took three people to push me back into the Imagine! building,” said Jessie.

“I’ve worked at a number of other organizations, and there is not the same sense of unity that there is here,” said Chris. “The reason of why we’re here and what we need to do to help people is in the culture.”

The admirable piece to this story is that Chris did not swoop in like Superman and force his helpful will onto Jessie. He listened to her needs and asked for her permission before operating her wheelchair. “When assisting someone, you need to make sure to not undermine that person’s independence at the same time,” said Chris.

This is the reason Chris was selected as the May 2018 Excellence in Customer Service Award winner. His compassion and service to others is what makes Imagine! stand out, and we salute his actions in fulfilling this standard.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Lisa Gaylord

We continue our quest of meeting new faces in the Imagine! community. Lisa Gaylord, Day Program
Counselor at Imagine!, teaches a handful of classes in the CORE/Labor Source (CLS) department. Earning her BFA degree at Adelphi University in Long Island, she brings her theater experience to her role as a teacher.

Lisa creates her curriculums to allow the participants to take control in the classes. “Listening to and understanding our clients can be one of the most challenging things about this job,” says Lisa. “But also the most rewarding, because you let them have their voice.”

Mark at Estes Park
during Explore CO class
Giving her students a say in the matter is exactly what she has done. When Lisa was given a new time slot to teach a class, she immediately surveyed the group. "We can do whatever you, go wherever you want," she told them, and so they spent a class period making a list of places to visit. The Denver Aquarium, Estes Park, and Molly Brown Museum are among the places they have explored. 

“They’ve been to so many places in Boulder time and time again that it’s cool they get to travel to Denver or Estes for the day," said Lisa. The class has been appropriately named Explore CO, while they engage in scavenger hunts to learn about the places they visit.

Lisa records Robert reciting a poem
Another project that empowers the students is the Podcast Class, where Lisa and other instructors assist the students in preparing written material and then sing, rap, or speak into a microphone.

Using her personal equipment, Lisa records their voices onto a laptop and edits their tracks into short clips. Click here to view some poetry the class has created.

Lisa spends her time teaching outside of Imagine! as well. Pursuing her passion in theater, she has partnered with Rocky Mountain Theater for Kids and instructs workshops for youth, ranging from five years old to middle school. “The goal is to teach a set of theater skills and then from there the kids implement it into a full on production,” says Lisa. They have performed the likes of Little Shop of Horrors, Winnie the Pooh, and Fiddler on the Roof. This instructional background came in handy when she helped direct Imagine!’s 2017 CLS Art Show at the Dairy Center in Boulder.

Moving forward, Lisa sees a potential for increasing theater opportunities for the clients: “There’s a professional theater company in Denver that prides themselves on only hiring actors with disabilities. Creating a mentor relationship between those actors and our clients would be very empowering.”

Both in and outside of Imagine!, Lisa has a knack for empowering others, directing her students to take the spotlight and use their own voice. The Imagine! community is grateful to Lisa for her work in creating a world of opportunity for all abilities. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Music To Support A Mission

Music lovers: catch a jazz concert and support Imagine! at the same time this coming Sunday at Long’s Peak United Methodist Church. The event is free, but donations will be accepted to support Imagine! and Longmont Meals on Wheels.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Collaborative Poetry

A collection of poetry from the "Podcast Class" of Imagine!'s Boulder CORE/Labor Source program. Each week, they work together to create rhymes, stories, and poems. Once in a a while, the teacher brings in recording equipment and students recite their written work into the microphone. Below are a few sample of their art!

**All poems are a collaborative effort, written by the Boulder CORE/Labor Source Podcast Class of Imagine!.

"I don't like to sing along with King Kong
King Kong sings every song wrong
King Kong would be better at the gong
Because he is so strong
He plays ping pong in Hong Kong
When he is wrong, they hit the gong
He sings his songs for far too long!"

    - Performed by Robert

"Please bring a keg for Easter egg
Easter is my favorite Holiday
Hip hip hooray!
Pam, did you steal my ham?
Now we'll have to eat lamb

    - Performed by Aneta

"April first, playing jokes on people
Rubber hammer for the workers at Home Depot
Fake calls from the repo-people
Driving buses into all the deep holes
Spiders in my room, I don't think so!
Tying doors together, oh no bro!
If the jokes get a little low
Don't have a cow man, it's all just for show!"

    - Performed by Jack

Imagine!'s Family Support Bulletin April/May 2018

The April-May edition of Imagine!'s Family Support Bulletin is available online.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Imagine! Innovations Super Hero of the Month: Matt Barnert

Every month, Imagine!’s Innovations department presents the “Super Hero of the Month” award to the employee or provider who has best demonstrated excellence in one or more of our Innovations Quality Standards:

  • Health, Safety, and Wellbeing 
  • Effective and Efficient 
  • Respect and Dignity 
  • Opportunities 
  • Integrity 
  • Care 
This month, the award was presented to Matt Barnert, who is the Systems Architect for Innovations. 

Matt was nominated by his coworkers, who wrote:

Matt is such a great resource to staff in so many areas. Recently, a supervisor asked him to do a cross QA on one of her residents to help prepare for survey. He obliged without hesitation. I’ve often come to him with questions that I’m unsure about pertaining to regulations and he always chats with me to flesh out the issue, find a resolution, and is so thorough to make sure that we’ve thought about the situation from every angle. He has such an upbeat attitude every day, and is always more than happy to help anyone in any way that he can. I can’t imagine this place without him! 

Matt’s support and expertise with Financials, Surveys, State status/info, Programmatic Documentation, MANE issues, Regulations, Policies/Procedures, etc. is more appreciated than I can say. It makes everyone in the office, sites, HHs and throughout Innovations feel supported and brings a comfort level to these areas that is essential to our success. We all feel in very good hands with Matt supporting these important areas of our program.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Innovations Celebrates Volunteers

This week is National Volunteer Week, and Imagine!’s Innovations team has two wonderful volunteers at their administrative building to thank!

Christina and Beth have committed their time and talents to Innovations over the past year and commit many hours per month to assisting them in so many ways! The Innovations staff wanted to recognize their hard work, and did so by throwing them a little shindig complete with cake, gifts, and a giant poster filled with well-deserved “thank yous.”

Imagine! appreciates all of our generous volunteers, and invites anyone else interested to sign up and volunteer themselves!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Celebrating National Volunteer Week

The week of April 15-21 is National Volunteer Week.

To celebrate, we’d like to share a short video featuring a family that has volunteered at Imagine!’s Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome for the past several years.

Interested in volunteering yourself? Click here to get started!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Imagine! Family Support Services Lifesaver: Marsha Thinnes

Imagine!’s Family Support Services Program (FSSP) hands out the “Life Saver” award to recognize and honor employees for their overall initiative, positive attitude, and diligent attention to job responsibilities.

This month's recipient is Marsha Thinnes.

Marsha is a dedicated employee of the Family Support Services team. She is a leader in data entry, an excel wizard and extremely organized with processes. Marsha works hard to support her team and the families we serve by constantly updating our resources, paperwork and communication around grant funding and timelines. We wouldn’t operate as smoothly as we do without her!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Wild Rumpus Begins Tomorrow Night

Tomorrow evening, Imagine!’s Out & About Centre Stage for Children is debuting “Let The Wild Rumpus Begin.” Details are below.

We hope you’ll be able to join us!

Monday, April 9, 2018

Imagine!'s Early Intervention Rockstar: Elysa Polovin

Imagine!’s Early Intervention (EI) program has a terrific team working to create a world of opportunity for all abilities. To show their appreciation, this team chooses a “Rockstar” each month within their program. Team members submit nominations describing what the nominee has contributed, going above and beyond to support those we serve.

We would like to recognize Elysa Polovin as this month’s Rockstar.

Elysa has been with Imagine! for three years. She is an eager learner and catches on fast. Elysa is a great team player. She ensures that her families are taken care of to the best of her ability, constantly providing resources to best support their needs. Elysa is heavily involved in Imagine!’s first “Share Your Idea” campaign. She has put in countless hours doing research into her idea, hoping to see it come to reality soon!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Imagine! Artists Showing Work Tonight at Rembrandt Yard

One of the many services Imagine! provides is the opportunity to learn to express oneself through arts of different mediums. We also believe in supporting those artists who wish to take their art to a professional level. The Imagine! artists have participated Lafayette’s Art on the Street, and have had their own show at the Dairy Center for the Arts. 'Art at Work' is a class that was developed where advanced artists are encouraged to create and share their art with their community and beyond.

Tonight Imagine! artists from the Art at Work class are loaning their art for a reception at Rembrandt Yard in Boulder. The art will be available for purchase. The event is FREE, and there will be music, refreshments, and tons of great art! The reception is from 6-9, and we hope to see you there.

If you can’t make it tonight but would still like to purchase an Imagine! artist’s work, check out our Etsy shop.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Sarah Gumson - April 2018 Imagine! Excellence In Customer Service Award Recipient

Congratulations are in order for Sarah Gumson, part of our Innovations team, who was selected as the April 2018 recipient of the Imagine! Excellence in Customer Service Award.

Sarah’s nomination included the following praise:

Sarah is a kind, hardworking and empowering supervisor. She gives very specific feedback that gets right to the point, and is tailored to meet each staff member in a way that facilitates growth and a feeling of belonging. She created an appreciation board for all staff and residents to show love and appreciation for one another. Sarah loves and deeply respects all residents. She is creative, innovative, and always looking out for new ways to improve services for each resident. She is so passionate about this population that she writes all of her graduate school papers on how to best work with people with developmental, cognitive, and physical challenges. She somehow manages to be a grad student and a group home site supervisor, and she deserves recognition!

Great work, Sarah, and congratulations on this well-deserved honor!