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6/22 Member Training: Service Hygiene, Story Telling

6/22 Member Training: Service Hygiene, Story Telling

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Published by Meagen Farrell
Script for NEO Literacy Corps member training including service hygiene, storytelling, and end of year recognition & poster presentation.
Script for NEO Literacy Corps member training including service hygiene, storytelling, and end of year recognition & poster presentation.

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Published by: Meagen Farrell on Jul 14, 2011
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07/19/2013

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June 22
nd
NEO Literacy Corps Training
 Agenda
1:00-1:45pm Introduction to 21001:45-2:15 Large group icebreaker & capacity building2:15-3:00 Service hygiene3:00-3:15 Break3:15-3:45 Civic Reflection3:45-4:10 Story telling/listening4:15-5:00 Kailey: conflict resolution
L
arge Group Ice Breaker
Share your name & something from this past month of service you are grateful for (pass the wand).Volunteers take the wand and remember what another member is grateful for.
Capacity Building Project 
Are you guys excited for August 3
rd
yet?Dont freak out!! Were just going to have a quick conversation about this and then STOP.Describe the August 3
rd
event: 5:30-7:30 at Downtown YMCA: We will invite everyone from your motherto the mayors office to recognize our members for their contributions this year. Well thank everyoneindividually, involve your host site supervisors and have a surprise of something special we will presentto you. Before all of that, we would like to invite members of the community to come in and see yourposters that represent how you have helped your host sites in a sustainable way.Who has done a poster presentation before?Poster Presentation sounds like a big, academic power word. And I know not everyones capacitybuilding project worked out. What I want you do is tell a success story of something really awesome youdid this year above and beyond the daily grind. Your story needs a title and should tell what you did,how you did it, and what you learned from it.What questions do you have about August 3
rd
or the project in general?Does anyone need help brainstorming to create your poster? [If yes:]Try to ask people with different roles who have been impacted by your success story in some way, likestudents/learners, staff, volunteers, and administrators. Here are some questions you can ask people in
 
your organization to get you started on your poster (you have to take notes; Im not giving this to you asa handout):Start with the title or name of the success story you want to highlight & explain how you will be sharingthis on August 3rd.If you were to tell someone else the story, how would you describe what we did? (introduction)What are some of the highlights of this (easier phrase) story/project/process that youd want to share?(design/method)Are there any tips, techniques, lessons, or resources we found or developed that we could share thatmight be helpful to others working in literacy? (results)What are some things we learned during this story/project/process? (conclusion)
S
ervice Hygiene
One of the goals of AmeriCorps as a national program is to promote a lifetime of service. Consider thisyear an invitation to participate in direct service to those who are low income, vulnerable, andunderserved. In addition, we want to make sure we present to you the skills you need to be able to dothis work for a lifetime. I want to emphasize that it is a
privilege
to be of service to others. Each andevery one of you are privileged with the resources and abilities to serve. But because you are dealingwith people who are vulnerable, the possible capacity to do harm is also much greater. In addition, youare exposing yourself to possible harm through this work, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Im nottalking about getting beat up, screamed at or having an isolated traumatic incident, though there is asmall risk of that happening. What I mean is the physical, psychological and spiritual toll of beingexposed daily to the suffering and trauma of other people, animals and the planet. Any service haselements of stress to it, but having an open heart and hands to those most vulnerable requires that youcare for your mind, body and spirit not just for your own sake, but also for the sake of those you servethrough NEO Literacy Corps, not to mention the full & involved lives & service you have outside of thissetting: family, friends, religious congregations, etc.The practices that enable your heart and mind to remain open and compassionate to others is what Icall service hygiene. We have tried to introduce these tools throughout the year by talking aboutvicarious trauma, stress management, and meditation, but I realize I never explained how or why allthose pieces fit together. At the same time, we have seen fewer people show up for training and whenyou
are
physically present, fewer people are
showing up
in terms of participation and engagement. Itappears to me, and I remember from my own experience in AmeriCorps, that you are hoping andwaiting for someone to throw you a line, to draw you up out of the exhaustion that is much more than just tiredness. You are looking for a healing salve for an inner soreness, but you cant remember howyou injured yourself to begin with. Youre beginning to feel like you are not just
serving
people inpoverty and hardship but are
becoming
a person in poverty and hardship. This is the cumulative toll of being exposed daily to suffering.
 
Im here today to tell you there is no rope. There is no healing salve. Your hope lies in your disciplinedexercise of service hygiene. Some service hygiene is a monthly practice. One method for this is toregularly meet with and support other professionals in your field, which we are facilitating for you everymonth in training. We want you to prove to yourself that you can leave your site for four hours everymonth and everything didnt just fall apart with you. Once this year is over, promise yourself to leavethe daily grind on a regular basis and meet with others to support, reflect and improve together.Id like to take a moment now to recognize those who have been faithful to training this year (hand outcertificates with names).Other service hygiene has to be a daily practice. Every day when you come home from service, you aretracking in the accumulated junk that you have been exposed to. Some days that is more than a little bitof junk and you come home knee deep in excrement. So today were going to practice how to take off and wash off your souls (get it? Shoes? Soles?).In healing from trauma, whether firsthand or vicarious trauma, you literally have to retrain your brain.So were going to start with a 60 second exercise well call Being of Service to Myself. Youre going tosit up straight and comfortable, put your hands in a position where they wont clench or tap or wander,make sure all cell phones and other communicative devices are not touching you or otherwise in yourconscious realm. When I ring this bell, you will pay attention to your breath. Dont change your breath, just notice it. It helps to close your eyes. Your mind will wander off. Youll start thinking about whatsfor dinner, did I remember to tell Jodie about August 3
rd
, I wonder if Johnny emailed medont berateyour mind, just gently call it back to your breath. It will wander again, bring it back to your breath. If you need a word to focus on, try the word breath in English or another language, like ruach theHebrew word for breath of life. After 60 seconds I will ring the bell again and you can open your eyesand let your mind return to whatever path it wants to run down.BellNotice the effects of the practice. Did this help you at all? And it is simple. Find an object that makes agentle noise, you can get these bells at City Buddha on West 25
th
for $12, and just focus on your breathfor 60 seconds at the end of your day.Now that your mind and heart is hopefully a little more open, were going to do a short assessment tosee if youre showing any signs of vicarious trauma. These are just symptoms, and the antidote to all of them is to get this accumulated junk up & out of your system every single day. As we talk through thesesymptoms, this is meant to be an introspective exercise. Keep this about yourself, and not from a placeof blame or guilt, but just be very gentle and curious about yourself, like Wow, check me out avoidingmy work by being on Facebook all dayhmmmisnt that interesting. Its just like noticing a tightnessin your shoulder, and its just a sign that maybe you need to work this out a little bit, work your wayback to being flexible. Dont make this about Oh, my coworker really needs to hear this, or Oh, thatswhy that tutor is such a big grump, okay? This is about you.The second thing I want to say is these brief exercises were talking about today are just that: exercise.This is not meant to be a magical talisman against any kind of difficulty or heart break. Its also not a

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