Spring Has Sprung

Spring has sprung and life, love, and learning are in full bloom here at Friendship House.  In this issue we will show you some of the amazing learning opportunities our kids have experienced so far this year.  Along with that, we will introduce you to Jason, a Friendship House Youth who has been teaching his fellow youth about 3-D printing and the benefits of learning about technology at an early age.  We will also show you all the ways God is helping our kids learn and grow into people who will make an impact in our community.

Springing into Volunteerism

To further Friendship House of Christian Service mission of “fostering renewal, stability, and transformation in the lives of children and families in South Billings”, we have recently partnered with students from MSU Bozeman as volunteers for Friendship House.  Taking the opportunity to learn more about pediatric care as they interact with kids are MSU nursing students Dylan and Jenna.  This year they had the opportunity to learn about pediatric and maternal care as part of their curriculum by serving at Friendship House.  

“They’ve been super welcoming and have gotten attached to us, so it is not hard to get to know them and talk about what we’re here to do,” says Jenna.  Who, along with her classmate Dylan, is responsible for watching the kids and acting as a teachers aids during their time at Friendship House.

Dylan, who operates as the other nursing student working with the kids says “. . . they’re easily consolable, if one’s having a bad day it doesn’t take much to get them back into games.  You couldn’t ask for a better place to be because the kids are so well behaved and volunteering here goes so far at making a difference.”

Friendship House loves Volunteers!   Another volunteer is a student in her occupational therapy Doctorate program with Rocky Mountain College, Taylor, spent well over her 35 hours with the Friendship House kids running around, swinging on swings, and simply hanging out with the kids playing.  She says that, “letting kids be kids is one thing that Friendship House does well, whether kids are playing or are taking silent time or are working on computers.”  Taylor gives Friendship House’s staff accolades when it comes to helping and teaching kids, “It’s definitely been a collaboration, I have shown them what I can do and they’ve taken me under their wing, all to benefit the kids learning.”

We are so grateful for volunteers giving us their time and knowledge, if you’d like to volunteer as well please reach out to us here at (406) 247-0140.

Contagious Creation

Recently one of our very own students Jason showed his class what it takes to make your own toys.  Jason is 10 years old and has recently found a passion for 3-D printing.  For anyone unfamiliar with the process it involves hard plastic filament being heated up and molded to create anything you might be able to imagine.  Jason brought some of his creation to Friendship House and let his classmates touch and feel the different builds he constructed.  He made an octopus, a gecko, and even a snake that was able to be articulated and moved.  The process isn’t quick however, Jason says it can take several hours for each print/build to be completed.  The process involves a lot of learning the right type of files to enter into the printer and the right kind of adjustments to make to insure a clean and functional build. 

“Taking the print/build off of the tray is pretty satisfying,” says Jason.  The 10-year-old was able to walk his class through the process in full detail, and answer questions in detail.  Jason’s whole presentation allowed his classmates to pass around several of his creations, then viewing a time lapse video of the 3-D printer process, and finally each kid went home with their own printed creation! 

Some of the creations included objects capable of holding phones and pens.  Other pieces glowed in the dark or, despite being made of plastic, had a metallic sheen to them. 

We couldn’t be more excited for Jason and his newfound passion and can’t wait to see where it leads him.  Friendship House is also so blessed to be able to incorporate technology and a kid’s passion to further kids learning and show the glory of God.  

Growing Our Future

We at Friendship House have some exciting news to share.  Recently, thanks to the support of our donors and the Billings community, we’ve acquired the property across the street from our 3123 8th Ave. S. location.  And, with the success of our Friendship House Food Trailer and Café, we plan on making this space an expansion to our on site garden.  Part of the curriculum here at Friendship House is teaching kids the importance of nutrition.  Healthy, affordable, and easily accessible foods are a big part of those lessons.  Which is why a great deal of our efforts go into teaching kids how to plant, grow, and maintain a variety of fresh produce. 

This is where you come in!  While we’ve secured the property there is so much more left for us to do, and we need your help to do it.  If you have the time or the financial resources to help, we still need gardening supplies, plants, seeds, and other heavy machinery such as a roto tiller and garden tractor to bring this garden to fruition.  Friendship House will also be planning on demoing the building on the weekend of April 28th as well as setting up volunteer projects at the end of September, and would greatly appreciate any willing and able bodies to assist us with this process.  Thank you again so much for getting us this far, and we can’t wait to show you what comes next.  If you’re interested in helping us finalize this goal please call (46)247-0140 ext. 111 to speak with Beatriz our volunteer coordinator to sign up.  

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