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    CLJobe
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A Child's Haven - 56. Chapter 56

The next morning, I went to the hobby shop and picked up several different kinds of models. I also picked up some glue and paint. Then I went to a toy store and picked up a deluxe bingo game. I got some extra cards and markers. Hurrying back to Sanctuary, I saw one of the kids leaving the cook shack as I parked my car. “Carl, can I see you for a minute.”

He came running over, “Carl, could you please tell the kids that we are going to play bingo after lunch today.” His smile was enough to assure me that everyone is going to have fun this afternoon. I took the models to my office until I had a chance to talk to the lads.

At lunch, Tony looked at me as if he knew I had something up my sleeve. “Tony, I’m going to need you this afternoon after lunch and you also Aaron.” They both gave me funny looks knowing that I had something that’d make them work.

After lunch and everything was put away. “I want each of you to take a seat. Tony and Aaron will pass out cards and markers to you. For you who aren’t familiar with this game, it’s called Bingo. The way we play, I’ll call out a number. If you have the number, you mark your card, when you have completed the line, you yell Bingo, and then we start the game all over. Any questions? No, then let’s start. Tony, if you and Aaron hand out one of these cards and a marker to each kid, we can get started.” I had a cage for the numbered balls. Then I turned the crank, which spun the balls around. “Is everyone ready?” I got a very enthusiastic yea.

I started the game. As a ball got caught in the wheel, I would read off the letter and number. I noticed the older kids helping the younger kids. One of the kids yelled Bingo. Tony checked the numbers, and they were correct. I had some poker chips and gave the winner a poker chip. I explained on the day that allowances were given; a chip would be worth 50 cents. We played the game for 3 hours. I knew I’d have to restock the vending machines, but I didn’t care. The kids had fun.

“Brad that was a great idea. Why didn’t we do that sooner?”

“Because I forgot the purpose of Sanctuary, I was so intent on saving lives I concentrated on the outside and ignored the inside. Not anymore, I’ll still be concerned about kids on the street, but I’ll also keep my focus. That’s why I asked you to sit with the kids during mealtime. I thought they enjoyed the game today.”

“They did. Now we’ll have to do this every Sunday afternoon. Maybe there are other games which will include the whole group.”

“How about you and Aaron think up group games? Maybe simple card games, like fish. We could have a contest winners from one table would play winners from another table until we got down to one winner.”

“Will give it some thought, but I think we should be careful of the games we get. We have games in the amenities area that involved small groups. The nice thing about Bingo is that everyone can play at one time.”

“Yes, you’re right, but I don’t know any games except Bingo that’s a group game. Maybe you could search to see if there are other group games. But for now, we have Bingo, and that will be good for a long time.”

“Tony, I’m going to enroll Adam in culinary school. I think there is one that is associated with the Culinary School of America. Could you inquire about the tuition and see if we can get a brochure for Adam.”

“Sure, what are your plans for replacing Adam?”

“I’ve asked Mario to look for a replacement or replacements. Mario thinks the load is getting large enough to have several kids working in the shack. I told him to get what he needs and to clear it with Mrs. Jenkins. I’ll give him a week and then check with him.”

Monday morning, the buzz about the Bingo game was still alive. I felt good about spending the time with them; it has been a while since I spent time with them. I got my coffee and sat at one of the tables, which had girls and boys. They asked me if we were going to play Bingo every Sunday. I assured them that it would be an ongoing event. Then the talk went toward the model building. I told them that I had bought some models and we can look at them after school. “Ladies, I have a question for you. Do any of you think you might like to learn how to sew or knit? You could make your clothes or blankets. What do you think?”

I felt the response was a little lukewarm, but I’d let it foment for a while. I wanted to talk with Mrs. Chester this afternoon about the aptitude profiles and the kids’ evaluation toward a GED. To that list, I also wanted to get a feel for how many kids wanted to learn how to paint, cook, or make clothes. I thought if they had some additional activities outside of book learning, they could learn a skill and perhaps be able to make a living out of it.

I left a message for Mrs. Chester that I’d like to see her after classes. I called Abe about putting a second floor in the dining hall. He said he had the plans already drawn and felt it would take a week to get the floor to a state that wouldn’t interfere with the dining hall. I went to see Tony to relate to him about my conversation with Abe. “Tony, I want to take the kids on vacation. I want to rent an island where the weather is warm and fish and swim in the ocean. Can we do this?”

“Is this so they can work in the dining hall?”

“Partly, but we have promised the kids a fishing trip, so I think this’ll be a lot better. We could hire some lifeguards and security as well.”

“Are you planning on flying there or sailing?”

“That’ll depend somewhat on the island. If we could fly in, I would prefer that. We’d also need staff and enough housing or at least tents.”

Mrs. Chester came to my office after class with a list of the kids. I explained about wanting to know who was close to being able to pass the GED. She said she thought there were three that might be ready. I asked her to get the book with sample questions and test them. If they fail any part, then we would know what to emphasize in class. I also asked her if she felt any 16-year-old kids were mature enough to move into the quads. I explained that I didn’t want to run out of cocoons, and although I hadn’t reached that point yet, I didn’t want to be too close, so I needed some back-up positions. I told her about going ahead with the building on the next lot and adding another cocoon floor. I asked her about aptitude tests that could give us some idea of what the various students are capable of and perhaps point us in the right direction as far as trades.

“Finally, Mrs. Chester, I was wondering about offering special classes like art, music, woodworking, and home economics. I’d be willing to bring in specialized teachers under your guidance to lead these classes.”

“Where would you have these classes? The school doesn’t have any more rooms.”

“I could provide space for them in the new building. Right now, I’m interested in your feedback, and do you think that might be something the kids would like.”

“Off the top of my head, I think that would be good for the kids. We might find some hidden talents.”

“Great, I’ll call Abe and have him adjust the plans to provide a woodworking shop, a home economics room, an art room, and a music room. I’m getting a little excited about this. Sometimes I feel that the kids get bored, this’ll offer a noncritical challenge for them and at the same time give them something to look forward to each day.”

Wrapping up my meeting with Mrs. Chester, I headed toward the dining room. With my coffee, I called Abe. “Abe, in the new building, I’ll need a wood working shop, a music room, an art room, and a room for home economics. I want to provide some extracurricular activities, so the kids aren’t bored, and at the same time, we may discover some hidden talent.”

Abe thought the idea was a good one and said he’d do some research and build the design into the new building. I told him about taking a one-week vacation to work on the dining hall second story floor.

That evening at dinner, the boys asked about the models and did I get some. I told them I had them in my office, and after dinner tonight, I would bring them to the dining hall, and we’ll make a list of which ones they would like to have. I had to caution them to take their time eating. Several of the girls also showed an interest, so I told them they were also invited to select a model.

After dinner, I went to my office and got the models I bought. Before leaving the office, I marked each model with a black non-erasable pen. I had Beth take some paper to record the names and model number. When I entered the dining hall, I had everyone sit down while I explained the procedure. Beth sat at one table, and I placed the models on the second table. The kids would look at a model, check out the box and go to Beth to tell her the model number. For the number of kids, it was quite orderly. It took about an hour for each of the kids who were interested in modeling to pick one.

The rest of the week was routine; Tony got the culinary school information, which I passed on to Adam. He also arranged for driving lessons for Adam and Jeff, taking them to the driver’s license office, and picking up a learner’s book for each of them.

I was anxious to get the holiday out of the way as I wanted to get the extra floor on the dining hall finished. I thought it would be good for the kids.

Copyright © 2020 CLJobe; All Rights Reserved.

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Chapter Comments



Awesome chapter, great bingo game, it seems that the kids will enjoy any game they can play as a group

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I love the idea of a Music room they could make it where all styles of music  can be learned.The Home economics room might help make  Mrs Jenkins kitchen be staffed after others leave.

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Like Bill suggested, it struck me odd as well that Sewing and Knitting were offered to the girls - maybe that's just the audience Brad was in at the time. Some of the most amazing welders have been women while some of the most creative fabric designers have been men. I'm glad Brad's mom hit the reset button for me to focus back on the primary function of Sanctuary. Often times, an organization or individual looses site of what's at the heart of making everything tick. 

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Stop over thinking about the sewing and knitting... I definitely heard them talking about it, the girls were just used to spread the word. Brad's clever like that.

I liked it, so much that I offered to help with the classes as I am a qualified tailor and have been for 40 years. Mum taught me to sew and knit but then the first job that I ever had was a tailor. I still do all of the altering of my clothes. Hell I'm in lockdown and knitting to keep from going insane. If any of the kids want to join me I head out every morning for my government approved exercise along the river. 😷

I always wanted to learn the trumpet or guitar :music:so book me in for a session in the room... and don't forget to hang on to that spitfire!

Absolutely cracking chapter as usual.:2thumbs::thankyou:

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1 hour ago, BoyLove said:

Great story so far. Would really be nice if there was actually people out there willing to do things like this for the children in our country.

The sad reality is that the very system that’s supposed to provide and protect the kids all too often keeps them in near juvenile detention; imagine reaching 18yo without hugs, without compassion, and without a car, a license, and little savings; then pushed out into the world unprepared. They are too frequently not treated as kids needing family, life skills and career guidance. Instead they are children held for the rewards of state contracts based on occupancy, and frustrated by bureaucratic desires to find a “perfect” forever family; the system should have to justify rejections of people wanting to foster or adopt these kids, the kids need a family, not a group detention center. 

There is no wonder why the destitution, incarceration, and homelessness rates are astronomical among kids raised by the state; I’m not award of any state that has bragging rights of having broken that mold of these wards of the states; so terribly sad, yet I was questioned by the contractor as to my motives when I had “inappropriate contact” with a kid other than my mentee. The inappropriate contact was a generic warning to not interfere when the event was a kid that was craving a different name into his forearm; as he didn’t want to be the same misfortune kid any longer. I merely talked with him and got him to ask for ointment, bandages and to have his case worker advised of specialized help needed. The kids are just a job and numbers far to often invisible.

  • Angry 2
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6 hours ago, Bill Christiansen said:

I continue to enjoy your  stories. One thing jumped out at me in this chapter, which was kind of gender / sexist issue. “Ladies, I have a question for you. Do any of you think you might like to learn how to sew or knit?" Sewing and knitting are not female gender specific activities. You did sort of redeem yourself with the Model building, "Several of the girls also showed an interest, so I told them they were also invited to select a model."

😱 I laughed at this as we are training people to be so gender neutral that we also ignore real differences. My interpretation on this was more along the lines of earlier context that some of the kids, especially girls, may not be interested and therefore other activities need to be offered. If I put the most masculine traditional activities out there along with the most feminine traditional activities, there will be cross flows of interest; the sexiest issues to me only enter if the cross flows are prohibited or discouraged, not because I recognize that boys and girls are more likely to migrate towards gender traditional roles. Boys like visual and girls like tactile...more traditionally, but not entirely.

My oldest daughter asked to be guided through changing her car’s oil, filters, plugs, and injectors. The other two looked on in horror that they they might need to depend on their own repairs. Likewise, my daughters know better than to ask mom to sew or repair their bags, cloths, or to make their custom dogs harnesses; ironic that other kids have been jealous that the girl’s dad helped them sew custom items that them and their mothers can’t.

Likewise, my girls hated it at the time, but they were required to explain every light, meaning and impacts, on the car’s warning light panel, as well as properly change a tire with the spare before I took them to get their licenses. Later, they thanked me and said how much they appreciated what we had done to keep them same, secure, and aware of driving responsibilities to themselves as well as regular road safety. My oldest daughter’s husband is jealous of my daughters knowing more about cars than him! lol

So my requests is that people not judge brainstorming traditional interests and norms to be sexist unless a more specific act to prohibit and force those norms upon the traditional gender assignment is truly present.

Edited by Philippe
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2 hours ago, Bill Christiansen said:

I continue to enjoy your  stories. One thing jumped out at me in this chapter, which was kind of gender / sexist issue. “Ladies, I have a question for you. Do any of you think you might like to learn how to sew or knit?" Sewing and knitting are not female gender specific activities. You did sort of redeem yourself with the Model building, "Several of the girls also showed an interest, so I told them they were also invited to select a model."

That remark about sewing jumped out at me also. 

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1 hour ago, Kev said:

Stop over thinking about the sewing and knitting... I definitely heard them talking about it, the girls were just used to spread the word. Brad's clever like that.

I liked it, so much that I offered to help with the classes as I am a qualified tailor and have been for 40 years. Mum taught me to sew and knit but then the first job that I ever had was a tailor. I still do all of the altering of my clothes. Hell I'm in lockdown and knitting to keep from going insane. If any of the kids want to join me I head out every morning for my government approved exercise along the river. 😷

I always wanted to learn the trumpet or guitar :music:so book me in for a session in the room... and don't forget to hang on to that spitfire!

Absolutely cracking chapter as usual.:2thumbs::thankyou:

After your first guitar lesson let me know how the food is over there

  • Haha 3
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I am going to jump on the Sewing and Knitting band wagon too.

I figure my comments/views are just as valid as anyone else here, even if only to/for me.

I like thinking for myself. It hasn't always worked out well, but I've survived as long as I have following that plan so...

Brad was sitting at a table with Boys and Girls but only addressed the Girls with this question. If he opened up the question to the whole table then he wouldn't have to be 'clever', he could just be 'inclusive'.

Remember the Kid who expected to be beaten cause he dropped his glass? How confident do you think said Kid would be if he wanted to do something that was specifically not offered to him? Remember where they were? The best way to not be beaten, etc was to try to not be noticed, don't make a fuss - ever, be quiet, etc. I know - they are in a good place now, Brad and Co. have been nothing but great, they have the other Kids to talk with, etc. But these are deep-seated issues, some of the Kids are relatively new to Sanctuary, etc.

Poor Brad does not need to be Much Perfecto Man. He is allowed to be Human. He is learning as he goes e.g. his recent change as per his Mom.

Wasn't expecting all that when I was scrolling down so I could start my comments.

What I was going to initially say is that, "I too hesitated at the Sewing and Knitting convo. I love the idea of the island holiday. Knew about the island, just didn't realise it was going to be a Holiday. The Kids will love it. I loved going to camp. I remember when I was much younger we went to Waiheke Island for two years in a row. It was so cool. Love all the plans Brad has for Sanctuary. So glad he is getting more into interacting with the Kids directly. One of the best contributions I think his Mother has made to Sanctuary".

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10 hours ago, BoyLove said:

Great story so far. Would really be nice if there was actually people out there willing to do things like this for the children in our country.

Yes, it would. The only organizations that I know that do this are associated with a church.

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10 hours ago, chris191070 said:

Great chapter. It's great to see Brad interacting with the kids, he seems to have his get up and go back.

Kids seem to give him a boost, not only in morale but also enthusiasm.

  • Like 4
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10 hours ago, Bill Christiansen said:

I continue to enjoy your  stories. One thing jumped out at me in this chapter, which was kind of gender / sexist issue. “Ladies, I have a question for you. Do any of you think you might like to learn how to sew or knit?" Sewing and knitting are not female gender specific activities. You did sort of redeem yourself with the Model building, "Several of the girls also showed an interest, so I told them they were also invited to select a model."

Model building was always an option for the girls, but what if a girl didn't want to build models. he needed something for them. Fashion, design, all involve sewing. I painting  was offered as well. Sewing isn't limited to girls. which you will see later in the unpublished chapters,. 

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10 hours ago, mikedup said:

Awesome chapter, great bingo game, it seems that the kids will enjoy any game they can play as a group

Or any games involving Brad, Tony and Aaron.

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10 hours ago, weinerdog said:

I love the idea of a Music room they could make it where all styles of music  can be learned.The Home economics room might help make  Mrs Jenkins kitchen be staffed after others leave.

Yes, and to add to earlier comments, they can be enjoyed by all who have an interest 

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9 hours ago, Chris L said:

Like Bill suggested, it struck me odd as well that Sewing and Knitting were offered to the girls - maybe that's just the audience Brad was in at the time. Some of the most amazing welders have been women while some of the most creative fabric designers have been men. I'm glad Brad's mom hit the reset button for me to focus back on the primary function of Sanctuary. Often times, an organization or individual looses site of what's at the heart of making everything tick. 

Yes and it is nice to have someone bring you back on track. Try and keep in mind, Brad wants the kids to have a hobby, and he doesn't care what they choose. 

  • Like 3
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9 hours ago, Kev said:

Stop over thinking about the sewing and knitting... I definitely heard them talking about it, the girls were just used to spread the word. Brad's clever like that.

I liked it, so much that I offered to help with the classes as I am a qualified tailor and have been for 40 years. Mum taught me to sew and knit but then the first job that I ever had was a tailor. I still do all of the altering of my clothes. Hell I'm in lockdown and knitting to keep from going insane. If any of the kids want to join me I head out every morning for my government approved exercise along the river. 😷

I always wanted to learn the trumpet or guitar :music:so book me in for a session in the room... and don't forget to hang on to that spitfire!

Absolutely cracking chapter as usual.:2thumbs::thankyou:

Thanks Kev. I also learned how to knit and crochet, my mother taught me. I have long since forgotten most of it, but not all. Now I have some pants that need a major altering, case I send them to you?

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9 hours ago, Philippe said:

The sad reality is that the very system that’s supposed to provide and protect the kids all too often keeps them in near juvenile detention; imagine reaching 18yo without hugs, without compassion, and without a car, a license, and little savings; then pushed out into the world unprepared. They are too frequently not treated as kids needing family, life skills and career guidance. Instead they are children held for the rewards of state contracts based on occupancy, and frustrated by bureaucratic desires to find a “perfect” forever family; the system should have to justify rejections of people wanting to foster or adopt these kids, the kids need a family, not a group detention center. 

There is no wonder why the destitution, incarceration, and homelessness rates are astronomical among kids raised by the state; I’m not award of any state that has bragging rights of having broken that mold of these wards of the states; so terribly sad, yet I was questioned by the contractor as to my motives when I had “inappropriate contact” with a kid other than my mentee. The inappropriate contact was a generic warning to not interfere when the event was a kid that was craving a different name into his forearm; as he didn’t want to be the same misfortune kid any longer. I merely talked with him and got him to ask for ointment, bandages and to have his case worker advised of specialized help needed. The kids are just a job and numbers far to often invisible.

What you have written is so true. These children are no better than cattle. Foster homes take these children in for the money and at the age fo 18 they are turned loose. There are people who would adopt these kids if the law allowed. Gay men nd women, would love to step in and provide a home, but many states prohibit this. Attitudes are changing, but ever so slow.

  • Like 2
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8 hours ago, Philippe said:

😱 I laughed at this as we are training people to be so gender neutral that we also ignore real differences. My interpretation on this was more along the lines of earlier context that some of the kids, especially girls, may not be interested and therefore other activities need to be offered. If I put the most masculine traditional activities out there along with the most feminine traditional activities, there will be cross flows of interest; the sexiest issues to me only enter if the cross flows are prohibited or discouraged, not because I recognize that boys and girls are more likely to migrate towards gender traditional roles. Boys like visual and girls like tactile...more traditionally, but not entirely.

My oldest daughter asked to be guided through changing her car’s oil, filters, plugs, and injectors. The other two looked on in horror that they they might need to depend on their own repairs. Likewise, my daughters know better than to ask mom to sew or repair their bags, cloths, or to make their custom dogs harnesses; ironic that other kids have been jealous that the girl’s dad helped them sew custom items that them and their mothers can’t.

Likewise, my girls hated it at the time, but they were required to explain every light, meaning and impacts, on the car’s warning light panel, as well as properly change a tire with the spare before I took them to get their licenses. Later, they thanked me and said how much they appreciated what we had done to keep them same, secure, and aware of driving responsibilities to themselves as well as regular road safety. My oldest daughter’s husband is jealous of my daughters knowing more about cars than him! lol

So my requests is that people not judge brainstorming traditional interests and norms to be sexist unless a more specific act to prohibit and force those norms upon the traditional gender assignment is truly present.

Well said. I believe in todays world as compared to the 40's and 50's, gender has no meaning as far as skills and knowledge go.  Thanks for this comment.

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8 hours ago, davewri said:

That remark about sewing jumped out at me also. 

Well tuck it back in your pocket. What you don't have a pocket? Give it to Tommy, he will sew you one at his tailor shop.

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7 hours ago, weinerdog said:

After your first guitar lesson let me know how the food is over there

🙂

  • Like 2
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3 hours ago, Buz said:

I am going to jump on the Sewing and Knitting band wagon too.

I figure my comments/views are just as valid as anyone else here, even if only to/for me.

I like thinking for myself. It hasn't always worked out well, but I've survived as long as I have following that plan so...

Brad was sitting at a table with Boys and Girls but only addressed the Girls with this question. If he opened up the question to the whole table then he wouldn't have to be 'clever', he could just be 'inclusive'.

Remember the Kid who expected to be beaten cause he dropped his glass? How confident do you think said Kid would be if he wanted to do something that was specifically not offered to him? Remember where they were? The best way to not be beaten, etc was to try to not be noticed, don't make a fuss - ever, be quiet, etc. I know - they are in a good place now, Brad and Co. have been nothing but great, they have the other Kids to talk with, etc. But these are deep-seated issues, some of the Kids are relatively new to Sanctuary, etc.

Poor Brad does not need to be Much Perfecto Man. He is allowed to be Human. He is learning as he goes e.g. his recent change as per his Mom.

Wasn't expecting all that when I was scrolling down so I could start my comments.

What I was going to initially say is that, "I too hesitated at the Sewing and Knitting convo. I love the idea of the island holiday. Knew about the island, just didn't realise it was going to be a Holiday. The Kids will love it. I loved going to camp. I remember when I was much younger we went to Waiheke Island for two years in a row. It was so cool. Love all the plans Brad has for Sanctuary. So glad he is getting more into interacting with the Kids directly. One of the best contributions I think his Mother has made to Sanctuary".

Thanks Buz. Yes the vacation plans are up and coming. I'm sure Brad had no intention of being a sexist. That was the furtherest thing in his mind,.

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40 minutes ago, CLJobe said:

Thanks Buz. Yes the vacation plans are up and coming. I'm sure Brad had no intention of being a sexist. That was the furtherest thing in his mind,.

Hey Cal. Yeah, I know he didn't. That's why I was initially gonna say what I put on the bottom of my comment. It was worth a mention but not an examination.

I was adding to the thread of some of the other comments.

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