The Pinon Project

It is our hope and desire that, through your giving, you will partner with The Piñon Project to build a solid foundation of general unrestricted funding that allows us to continue to provide vital family and youth services to our communities in Montezuma and Dolores Counties.

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Early Childhood Programs

Class

Human Services 

Beneficiaries

Children birth to age 3
Female Young Adults (20 - 25 years)
Native American/American Indian
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged
Single Parents

Description

Incredible Years (IY) -The Incredible Years® is a series of interlocking, evidence-based programs for parents, children, and teachers, supported by over 30 years of research. The goal is to prevent and treat young children's behavior problems and promote their social, emotional, and academic competence. The programs are used worldwide in schools and mental health centers, and have been shown to work across cultures and socioeconomic groups.

Dinosaur School - The Classroom Dinosaur Curriculum is used by teachers as a prevention program for an entire classroom of students. The curriculum is delivered 2-3 times a week by teachers in the classroom in 20-30 minute circle time lessons, followed by small group practice activities and promotion of skills throughout the school day. The program includes letters for teachers to send home with suggested activities parents can do with their children to reinforce the classroom learning and promote parent involvement in classroom learning. The program includes lesson plans for 3 "levels" so that teachers can choose lessons based on children's developmental age (Level 1: ages 3-5, Level 2: ages 5-6, Level 3: ages 7-8).

Treasure Chest - The Scottish Rite Foundation of Colorado's main interest is in preventing and addressing communication and language disorders thereby enhancing the quality of life for Colorado's children and their families. The Treasure Chest Program is designed to help families improve the language and literacy skills of their young children thus better preparing them for school and social interaction.

The Treasure Chest Program is a family-focused language and literacy program designed to enrich the natural parent-child interaction. It seeks to accomplish this by providing parent education, support, and high quality, developmentally appropriate materials, books and activities to families of preschool-age children on a rotating basis. Outcomes include improved child learning readiness and enhanced parent confidence and satisfaction in selecting child activities.

Families who participate in the Treasure Chest Program benefit by developing better skills to foster their child's language and literacy development; children benefit by developing important school readiness skills (e.g., knowing the alphabet, counting, shapes, colors, etc.) Thus, children and their families benefit by being better-prepared for subsequent school and learning.

Parents As Teachers - Parents as Teachers (PAT) builds strong communities, thriving families and children that are healthy, safe and ready to learn by matching parents and caregivers with trained professionals who make regular personal home visits during a child's earliest years in life, from prenatal through kindergarten.

Alphabet Soup - Alphabet Soup Family Support Group is a support group for parents, caretakers or guardian of children with special needs or challenging behaviors.

SafeCare® Colorado is a free, individualized program for families with children ages 5 and younger. A SafeCare Parent Support Provide works alongside parents and caregivers to build on their existing skills in the areas of home safety, child health and parent-child interactions. The program provides families with free items such as electrical outlet covers, cabinet locks and door latches as well as a health manual developed by pediatricians to assist parents in making important wellness decisions for their child. Families may also receive regular incentives like diapers or gift cards for program participation and completion.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

The Child Maltreatment Prevention Action Team (CMPAT) and Early Childhood Education Expansion (ECEE) Team partnered with other Team Up efforts to report out to the community about their cradle-to-career efforts to meet the aim that all children are in a safe and supportive environment and enter school ready to learn. CMPAT reported on our education efforts and positive community norming campaign in order to increase awareness around child maltreatment prevention and provide families with the information and resources they need to provide safe and supportive environments for their children. These efforts included our Family Skill Building Events which took place over the past year with huge attendance and excellent outcomes reported. With funding from United Way and Essentials for Childhood, we were able to host 8 events which served a total of 150 families consisting of 233 adults and 293 children, for a whopping 526 total participants! Feedback was overwhelmingly positive and families reported feeling more connected to resources and their fellow participants, increased knowledge of parenting and child development, and improved resilience and stress level management using the tools learned during activities.

As coordinator of the Fatherhood Program here at the Pinon Project Family Resource Center, I get to encourage dads to let their inner child out while at play with their children. It brought me great joy to hear one of the fathers that I have been working with ask for another Treasure Chest for his 4 year old son. Especially with Covid-19, this dad was especially grateful for activities to engage his son safely at home. As interest in the first set of materials began to wane, he knew he had only to ask for a new box to rekindle the child's interest. My suspicion is that it was dad that needed the fresh Treasure Chest to play with, not his son! The Fatherhood Program at The Pinon Project is fortunate to be able to collaborate with the Treasure Chest Program in support of effective parenting and early language development.

SafeCare was able to graduate their second client completing all three topics. The SafeCare family support provider began working with the family just before the Covid pandemic hit. When the client began working with The Pinon Project, she and her 2 sons were living in the shelter with as many belongings as they could fit in the car with them. She began attending Successful Families (SuFam) and this led to her engaging in the SafeCare program. When we began working together the family was lacking even the most basic essentials. Through the work she put in and the support offered to her through the Pinon Project and SafeCare she was able to slowly put her life back together. She got beds for herself and the children, and worked together with her Parent Support Provider to create a safe home for her sons. She went to school to get her CNA certificate. She attended multiple parenting groups. The Pinon Project was able to help support her in getting plates for her vehicle, and now more than a year later she is graduating from the last bit of programming she needed to support her and her family. Upon leaving that final visit, the participant stated how The Pinon Project had been a support for her creating a safe and stable environment for her family, and now all of her Pinon Project supports are no longer there all the time because she doesn't need them anymore. It seemed to be a scary and exciting moment for her to realize she is doing this and has gained so many skills over the last year.

A family had been previously contacted based on referral from our local department of social services and declined services. After becoming more familiar with Pinon through some of our other services, the family met with our Parent Support Provider and determined that SafeCare could be a good fit for them. Despite the challenges of program delivery adaptation brought on by the pandemic, the family has stayed engaged in the program and has completed two topics so far. During this time receiving services, the family was able to bring home two of their children who were in alternate care environments, drastically improve the health and safety of their home environment, increase supports for mental health, find employment and report an overall improvement in their family interactions and use of positive discipline.

The Early Childhood Program Specialist has been working with a young mother of 2 boys for about 3 years now with our Parents as Teachers Program. She has attempted on multiple occasions to connect the mother to Medicaid without success. November 2020 was the month the client finally agreed to apply for Medicaid to help alleviate some of the financial stress of having to pay out of pocket for medical expenses. What a huge success and testament to what building trusting relationships and persistence can accomplish!

The Pinon Project's Summer Strengthening Families Online Program concluded on August 18th. Out of the 15 families that started the program, 9 completed with at least 80 percent attendance and 2 families attended every session! A total of 20 adults and 19 youth ages 7-17 attended at least one or more classes. We received a lot of positive feedback as well as suggestions on how to implement an effective online group. Families were instructed to watch weekly videos as part of the curriculum, attend a two hour group session once a week and were assigned approximately 60 additional minutes of home activities per week. Youth were also invited to attend 3 break-out sessions focused on building social-emotional awareness, communication, self advocacy and antisocial-behavior refusal skills (like avoiding negative peer pressure, bullying and substance use). The facilitators met weekly to design supplemental interactive online activities, discussion points and skill-building home activities. Kits with activity materials, incentives (restaurant gift cards and family games) and curriculum handouts were delivered each week in an effort to retain participation and encourage positive family interaction. Participants completed weekly online surveys to give feedback on each session and report on activity completion or skill application. Participants even took the initiative to start their own closed Facebook group where they could share support, challenges, ideas for activities and proudly post pictures of completed projects or time spent together as a family. Based on feedback from our final survey, facilitators and participants agree that our first ever online SFP Group was a huge success. For this year's second session the facilitators; along with our four young leaders, facilitated the Strengthening Families Program. There were 25 total families who completed at least one session and 22 of those families completed at least 8 out of 13! 11 completed with 80 percent or better attendance and graduated on April 14th. All classes were on Zoom except the last class was optional to come in person or attend on Zoom. There were five families that attended in person and were able to receive their graduation gift then. This second session served a whopping 96 participants--37 adults and 59 youth.

Pinon Project staff was able to complete six classroom coaching visits in person this month. Early Childhood Program staff also had the opportunity to provide training with the staff at Tree House care facility in our Incredible Years, Incredible Teachers programming. The main focus of the information related was the importance of transitions throughout the day, both from one activity to another, but also in how children are welcomed to the center at the beginning of the school day and how teachers support the transition home. ECP staff shared Ideas and techniques that included the use of songs and jingles to prepare children for a change in their day and make those transitions less stressful and even fun! As well as the importance of "selling" the upcoming activity as something to look forward to. We discussed the importance of preparation and planning of our transition activities much as teachers prepare lessons or other activities, positive transitions can make for a much more positive and productive school day. Intensive classroom coaching support will continue at Tree House throughout the summer.

ECP staff began Baby Incredible Years Parenting Class August 11 with 6 participants and 8 children attending every Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the local park. Participants were able to engage in a way to be hands-on and learn new skills that help support their own parenting styles. Every participant received the necessary materials including incentives that help support their children's safety and developmental growth. We also received visits from other supportive programs such as SafeCare, WIC and LENA. They all completed the program with desire to continue with the Toddler IY Curriculum and a graduation surprise of breakfast burritos from our local drive-in Burger Boy.

ECP staff facilitated the final session of our School Age Incredible Years presentations December 15th. Overall, we were very pleased that our group enjoyed a high rate of both retention (completing most if not all of the 12 week sessions) and reporting high levels of satisfaction (that program information was useful and that families plan on implementing the techniques and skills to benefit their children.) 3 attendees graduated with perfect attendance and 8 participants completed with 80% or better attendance! When we consider the level of interest and commitment that the completion of a 12 week course requires, this group's success speaks well of the program and more importantly, the dedication of the families.

On December 17th, ECP hosted a combined support circle Holiday Celebration. Regular attendees were encouraged to invite a friend or family who they thought could benefit from the group and all participants received dinner courtesy of the Main St. Brewery. There were 13 in attendance, 3 who were brand new to Circle of Parents and 2 who had attended in person, but had never attended online. The group shared both the challenges and successes that came in 2020 and reflected on 3 things that they were most grateful for. One parent expressed that one of the things that he was most grateful for this past year was his involvement in Pinon Project Programs.

Youth Services

Class

Human Services 

Beneficiaries

Hispanics
Native Americans/American Indians
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged
Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)
Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)

Description

Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) is comprised of programs dedicated to providing support that will make a difference in the lives of young people by helping them develop a positive self-image, a sense of belonging within their community. YEP strives to engage youth through a variety of programs including before and after school program, asset building, the Strengthening Families Program and Restorative Justice.

Regional Youth Suicide Prevention Coordinator works within the community to support organizations, systems and the community build capacity to prevent youth suicide. Capacity, procedures and process are key to ensuring our community knows exactly what to do when someone is thinking about suicide. Sources of Strength support and Question, Persuade Refer (QRP) Training are key pieces to youth suicide prevention. QPR is a suicide intervention program designed to support all people to intervene when someone is thinking about suicide and to ensure they get the help they need by the right people. If you or your organization are interested in a QPR Training call us today.

Early Release Days: Early Release Days are held on Wednesday After-School Program from 3:30-6:00PM with the Youth Empowerment Project. These days allow a full hour extra for our program activities and as a result we are able to host longer, more in depth, and often more exciting and engaged activities. The activities this year have included a tour of a local radio station, making pizza, bowling at the local bowling alley several times, a tour of the fire station, sports games, and movies. Early Release days allow more time for the youth to settle in to the new setting, more time for them to become interested in the activity, and more time for engaging with youth in meaningful ways.

Open Gym: Open gym is provided daily while school is in session from 7:45-9 AM. Breakfast snack and activities are facilitating by engaged adults. This service provides a safe space for youth to spend time before school starts.

After School Program: Provides activities daily for middle and high school students. These activities range from games, art, and mural development to Youth Advisory Council. There are many ways to enjoy the program. Pinon offers a safe space for youth to hang out while engaging in enrichment opportunities.

Summer Program: Provides daily activities to help support the development of youth in the community. Activities range from life skills, community service to just plain fun!
Strengthening Families - The Strengthening Families framework is a research-informed approach to increase family strengths, enhance child development, and reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect.

We work to engage families, programs, and communities in building the five protective factors. States apply the Strengthening Families approach in early childhood, child welfare, child abuse prevention, and other child- and family-serving systems.

Check & Connect is an intervention used with K-12 students who show warning signs of disengagement with school and who are at risk of dropping out. At the core of Check & Connect is a trusting relationship between the student and a caring, trained mentor who both advocates for and challenge the student to keep education salient. Students are referred to Check & Connect when they show warning signs of disengaging from school, such as poor attendance, behavioral issues, and/or low grades.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

We saw our kids come together and start working as a team instead of Individuals. They came up with their own ideas for the mural and then came in as a group, worked as a team and created the murals that were painted along with the shirts, they designed each member got to plan their own idea then come together and work as a team to complete the design. Implicitee allowed our kids to get a hands-on experience and screen print their own shirt, our kids loved the activity and where able to learn how shirts are made. The Kids enjoyed their time at reflections in Metal where they learned the process of how to design objects using water.

Do to Covid-19 last summer almost did not happen so the ability of our staff and organization to even be able to hold activities is a huge success in and of its self.

We had a few kids who had never gone Mountain Biking, one of our huge successes over the summer was partnering with Kokopelli's and DEVO and where able to take these kids Mountain Biking a few different times. The kids loved this activity and have already been asking to go again.

We had a few kids who at the start of summer did not really seem like they wanted to be there, however by the end of summer each of those kids said they had a great summer and enjoyed the activities, their perspectives changed and they were able to get involved in the activities. One in particular came to Pinon Project on a mural planning day and was not getting involved, he continued to come for the planning and eventually he drew a turtle and we added it to the mural, he was so proud of the turtle he drew and showed it to anyone that was willing to look at it.

Family Services

Class

Human Services 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens
Families
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged
Single Parents

Description

Montelores Emergency Assistance Coalition (MEAC) - Emergency Services. This emergency assistance program is designed to provide families with monetary assistance to help deter homelessness, utility shut-off, and involvement of Child Protection Services. Its funding sources include: Salvation Army, Good Samaritan Center, Homeless Prevention Activities Program (HPAP) grant and Department of Social Services (DSS)

Colorado Community Response Program (CCR) -The Colorado Community Response Program is implemented through a grant from the Department of Human Services, Office of Early Childhood. The program's goals include the enhancement of comprehensive voluntary services for families reported to child protective services but screened out; the increased awareness of the link between poverty and maltreatment, which allows us to connect families to vital economic and other support services.
Financial Health education guides people to become more aware of how they use their finances and economic resources and ultimately how their decisions, behaviors, routines and habits impact their overall well-being. Participants also become more aware of the individuality of their goals and personal values; and what factors, personal behaviors, and decisions in their daily lives affect the achievement of those goals.

Community Engagement Team (CET), CET is a program where families engage with all supports provided in the county at one table, eliminating the need to visit multiple places for resources.

Supervised Visitation & Safe Exchange - provides safe, monitored environment for children to maintain their relationship with a non-custodial parent while the parent resolves court or lifestyle issues.

Successful Families is a life skills program for clients within our community. The program teaches hands on life skills, household chores, grocery shopping on a budget, filling out job applications, mock interviews, resume building, community service, and much more. We also have the following classes offered weekly: Parenting Support, financial health, nutrition/wellbeing, and work readiness. The goal of Successful Families is to assist the clients in becoming self-sufficient and successful families in our community.

WAGEES- The WAGEES program focuses on sets of services provided by local community and faith-based non-profits (CFBOs) to integrate people returning from prison back into community. The LCCL provides grant funding, technical assistance, capacity building and data systems to support the unique program design of each community partner. The Colorado General Assembly passed HB18-1176 increasing WAGEES program grant funding.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

A family of 8 struggling to work together agreed to participate in services and joined the Strengthening Families Group for 12 weeks and completed the program! CCR staff worked with the district and family to ensure there was secure internet connection and CCR Staff delivered breakfasts and lunches to the home during the height of COVID. This family reported significant progress in communication through their participation and parents reported improvement of behaviors in the home.

A new single father of two was referred into the program. He was homeless living with his father and had no idea what to do. CCR helped him obtain vital documentation to apply for HUD housing and helped secure a home. He has since then found a job and is on his feet!

A single father and his two children were referred to the program and enrolled in services. He began by attending a wide variety of classes offered daily at Piñon. From there he worked to build a budget and sought out employment. He was having tremendous difficulty maintaining employment because of transportation issues. CCR provided him a bike and buggy so that he could drop his children off at daycare on the way to work. He has maintained his employment at local grocery store since!

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.