Our goal is to ensure that every student has enough interesting
and enjoyable material to help them love reading as much as we
do. We believe we get closer every year.
The Godmothers opened the library in 1998 with just one year’s
funding available. Its success with the students in that first year
prompted the Godmothers to make the Library funding a priority.
A few interested parties were recruited and over the next 7 years,
the library has flourished.
What began as a collection of donated books has evolved into a
comprehensive collection of new reading materials appealing to
Grades 1-12. Twice a year, before the Christmas break and the
summer recess, the library sponsors a Book Fair. Each student is
given an allowance to purchase books from the Fair that will
entertain him during the school holiday. The students look
forward to these events all year. Each year our inventory has
expanded to include more books on an increasing variety of subjects guided by the boys’ interests.
As we look forward to the upcoming school year, we have been passed a
very precious torch. The St. Vincent’s Women’s Auxiliary has provided
clothing for the boys for many years through Vinnie’s Closet. This special
place on campus was named after a beloved Dominican nun at St. Vincent’s,
Sister Vincent Marie Hurley, after she passed away in 1984.
The Women’s Auxiliary was organized in 1960 to help the sisters at St.
Vincent’s and Vinnie’s Closet was their way of honoring the sisters by
continuing to provide underwear, socks, shoes, pajamas, and much more to
each boy when he came to St. Vincent’s to live.
The Women’s Auxiliary disbanded at the end of June and The Godmothers
are honored to continue this wonderful programs. Vinnie’s Closet also
houses the uniforms we provide to TMS students.
The goal of the Godmothers Lifeskills Program is to add the
dimension of creative hands-on experiences, social awareness and
community interaction to the lives of the St. Vincent's boys.
Inaugurated in 2004 with the opening of a newly renovated
classroom as the Life Skills Center, it has seen several changes in
emphasis over time, but the core of its success has always been
the self-esteem and healthy relationships that the Godmothers
hope to instill. Interacting with the boys bring rewards to
Godmothers introduce the boys to wonderful new experiences:
science experiments, creative art projects, toy and gift-making,
gardening basics, safe and practical tool use, scrapbooks and
picture frames, wallet stitching, basic baking skills (separating an
egg, measuring ingredients), cooking hamburgers and tacos, and
the cultural and fun traditions centering on special holidays. The
Godmothers bring family caring and sharing into the lives of these often severely neglected boys.
For the older boys, monthly trips into the community are scheduled, with Godmothers arranging with business owners, craft people, community service personnel, cultural or recreational organizations to host the boys for a tour and introduction to job possibilities. Two or three Godmothers treat the boys to lunch; visiting a local restaurant and interaction with the boys is a chance for them to gain social and conversational skills.
For a brief time, a certificate program divided into six units was offered. Textbooks and talks on Careers, Health, Social Skills, Business, Independent Living and General Knowledge were designed to allow a boy upon graduation to set up his apartment and be responsible in a new job situation. While this program is not presently being taught, the Godmothers are always ready to start it up again with a teacher/volunteer contingent ready to step in.
The Merit Store originally opened its doors on February 26, 2008. It is a wonderful way to motivate the boys to complete schoolwork, respect staff and peers, and to be overall good citizens.
The students earn points, as per the Merit Program, managed and recorded by the staff. The boys visit the store weekly, to spend the points they have earned or they can accumulate their points for future purchases. They learn to work toward a goal of saving for something they really want and feel the gratification of achieving that goal.
The Merit Program is a behavioral modification plan with six steps, each offering an award for good behavior. The Godmothers provide rewards for all boys.
As each boy achieves a reward level they receive something designed to be an incentive for good behavior adapted for each age group, i.e. books, sports equipment, “on-campus” special lunch, watch, movies, day trips, “off-campus” lunch, “points” to shop in the store on campus.
In addition, the STAR Program (Stop, Think, Act, Result) was created by the Godmothers to offer reward incentives to boys that are unable to advance beyond a low Merit Program level.