Ironwood Maine Web Update

“I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.” 

Abraham Lincoln

            For My Topic this week, I plan to talk about progress. Progress can be seen in the program, daily living skills, and school. For a campus overview I have noticed that people have made progress in their program; for example, a resident at Frye earning his purples and moving to level 2. I say earned because people work hard to be able to move on in their program, and I feel that “earn” is a more appropriate word to use than just “getting” your purples, greens, etc. At the Farm House we have made progress with cleaning up the garden and preparing it for next year.  Also, residents at the Farmhouse have also made progress within school. Some are moving into high school, a couple of others are moving up to 11th grade, and three others have earned their high school diploma!

            Within the week we have gone to our therapeutic groups, and I wanted to point out one in particular because of its connection to the theme of progress. In our group experiential, we talked about our role within our communities, at Ironwood, at home, and the progress we have made in each.  In this group, we chose a picture that represented our role within a community, and then elaborated on it.  We shared our picture along with what we wrote in explaining the picture.

            The enrichment group we had this week was “garden enrichment”. What we did in that block was we removed all the plants from the garden, planted seeds for next year, and cleaned up the hoop house where we stored tools. Overall, we had made a lot of progress within one hour. We also took time to look back on the progress the garden made for us as well.

            In conclusion, our community here at Ironwood has made a lot of progress within the last week.  I hope parents can see the progress that their children have all made, whether they bring attention to it, or not.  I see the progress made and it seems to always come from hard work.

*This week’s update was written by a level 4 resident who was fully invested in this summer’s horticulture projects.  He experienced the end of season bounty that was a direct result of his energy and interest, that culminated in this week’s garden retirement and prep for 2021.  He is also now honing his culinary skills in our kitchen and hopes to continue down this path, when he leaves us and heads back home to his family.

Today, for the staff at Ironwood, we are seeing a young man who is operating daily with deliberate intention.  He is becoming a positive and strong influencer with his peer groups, leading by example.

In his early Ironwood weeks, he would often share that he didn’t care much about his life and future.  While he is soaring these days, he has also experienced setbacks, and periods of uncertainty and stagnation.  It’s truly incredible what can take place throughout an Ironwood journey and we celebrate what this young man has EARNED for himself.

**We also want to share with those of you back home that The Governor of Maine has announced that face masks will be required for Maine schools, both public and private.  This means that we will be introducing mask protocols for all residents, next week.

Thank you and we wish you a happy and safe weekend.