Facing Fears and Working Together in Brattleboro

October 30, 2018

As NFI South transitions from summer to fall, two events stand out as representing our desire to help clients discover their potential, and to further integrate the NFI South programs.
In our Brattleboro Community Alternatives Program (BCAP) a child who we worked with for some time, and who will be moving on from our program in the not too distant future, stated an interest in theater. One of our Community Skills Workers has been actively involved in several local theater groups, and was aware of a production that would be looking for elementary school age actors. We approached our client with the idea of her trying out for a part. The client expressed a great deal of both excitement and anxiety at our suggestion. The skills worker offered to support the client through the process by auditioning for the same play. The client used a variety of skills and the support of the skills worker to attend auditions where she received a sizable role in the play as did the skills worker. She attended weeks of rehearsals, memorized her lines, and was very successful in the four performances of the play. She recognized that when we face our anxiety, a lot of wonderful things can happen.

The DBT House program girls and staff decided that they wanted to create a house garden. The skill development focus was to help the girls in the program learn the basics of gardening and teach to “green” practices by being organic. As the staff and clients worked through their ideas together, they found their collaboration created an opportunity to bring the southern programs even closer moving forward. Staff arranged to have raised beds installed and the children in the BCAP program will also grow food for themselves and their families. Given the large amount of space, a future idea is to create an NFI community garden where clients with their skills workers, and NFI staff from all our programs would be able to have a plot of land to grown their own fresh foods during the summer. Staff and clients plan to cook with the vegetables they have grown and nurtured.