By Rachel Faircloth
Education can be found in many shapes and forms. From Family Services to Equine Assisted therapy, education is incorporated into all of Quakerdale’s services. Quakerdale has three key components: Prevention, Education, and Support. All three help improve the whole person and are dependent on each other. Executive director, Rob Talbot explains how prevention ties into education, “If you are going to prevent yourself from having problems, if you want to prevent others from having problems, they need to have the skills and the knowledge to put that into life experience. If you don’t know any differently, you can’t do any differently.” Support is tied together with education and is incorporated by opportunity. “We try to provide opportunities for people to grow,” said Rob Talbot. Prevention, Education, and Support all work together to help provide people with opportunities to grow and learn while gaining life experience.
Mobile Camp is a free camp for children that mix Bible lessons with high energy activities. Mobile Camp director, Jason Kinney, says the main goal of Mobile camp is that all campers realize it is okay to be themselves. “They are loved unconditionally. They are loved for the way they are, I think that’s the biggest thing we try to promote.” Mobile Camp incorporates education through action. “A lot of what we teach is shown through our lives and shown through the way we interact with our kids,” explained Kinney. The value of a Christian education and the lessons learned at Mobile Camp are both priceless.
Quakerdale offers a wide range of family services that all include educational aspects. Beth Andrew describes how she uses education when working with clients. “We help try and educate them on their own strengths, their own resources as well as what got them into that crisis so that we can potentially help them learn other ways to avoid that crisis in the future.” Family services focuses on seeing how everyone contributes to something and educates people on how their actions affect others.
Child Welfare Emergency Services covers 14 Iowa counties and its goal is to teach, role model, and educate parents and children. Peg DeArmond explains how this program is centered around education. “Shelter facilities for the time that we have the kids, are trying to role model and teach kids to make better choices, to think before they act, to understand the bigger consequences of their behaviors, communications skills, anger management skills, aggression replacement skills…it’s all about teaching people, educating people.” Child Welfare Emergency Services teaches new skills to parents and children so they can handle situations in a healthy manner.
One of Quakerdale’s newer programs is Hope4Healing. Hope4Healing is “a partnership of individuals, churches, organizations, agencies, across the state of Iowa that have a desire to help people in their local communities. It is a resource assistance network,” according to Hope4Healing administrator, Ryan Keller. Education is the main aspect to Hope4Healing. It educates the person on different organizations to take advantage of and it introduces them to a church. It educates the church on the needs of their community and it educates organizations to help them strengthen their services. “The main goal is to connect people to a community,” said Keller.
Education is everything to the Eagle Basketball program. “Education is more important than basketball,” according to head coach Dwayne Melton. Education is something no one can take from you and is something you earn which makes it that much more beneficial. Education is everything to the Promise Academy as well. The Promise Academy is made up of “learning communities that connect learning with life application or experiences,” explained Larry Ketcham. “What that means to our students is, in reality, an opportunity, lots of opportunities to make changes, to grow, to try on things, behaviors they have not been able to try on before in a safe environment.” The Promise Academy focuses on educating the whole student: mind, body, and spirit.
Education can be seen throughout every program and service that Quakerdale offers. It can be through Bible stories at Mobile Camp, through an educational environment such as the Promise Academy, or by working with the horses at Wolfe Ranch. No matter the program, big or small, education is involved and impacting the lives of all those involved.
See the full video interviews below!