Providing our youth a fun-filled summer is a priority at Ellipsis. We hire a summer staff dedicated to providing a lighthearted atmosphere that engages our youth while continuing to develop their education and skill sets. Our goal is to facilitate teamwork among our kids, showing them how to work together and have fun. When the kids laugh and learn as they play, their negative behaviors dissipate.
Summer programming starts the first full week after school ends, and so does the fun and learning! We begin each day by waking up, doing chores, doing work details such as picking up sticks, deep cleaning, washing cars, pulling weeds and more. We incorporate work detail into every day to help build each youth’s work ethic. After chores and work details are finished, the kids have plenty of free time. This downtime is important because the kids have to find ways to entertain themselves and find activities to do on their own. Our campus has a disc golf course, a football field, basketball hoops, a volleyball court, horseshoe pits, indoor gym, game rooms and a large field so that our kids can be active.
It is really cool to look out the window and see the kids playing and being kids and having fun and laughing.
“It is really cool to look out the window and see the kids playing and being kids and having fun and laughing,” said Ellipsis Chief Clinical Officer Nikki Thomson.
We also have scheduled outings around the Des Moines metro area where the kids go swimming, go on bike rides, visit Saylorville Lake, go bowling, attend Iowa Cubs and Barnstormers games and more. In addition to these fun events, we have our youth do community service so they can learn to give back to the community and take pride in their work. We take different groups out into the community to pick up trash, pull weeds in community gardens and assist with other community activities.
It gives the kids a sense of community around Johnston. If you are ever on Merle Hay Road, you will see them. Our community is very supportive of them.
“It gives the kids a sense of community around Johnston. If you are ever on Merle Hay Road, you will see them. Our community is very supportive of them,” said Nikki.
Part of summer is relaxing and having fun, but we also encourage our youth to continue their education and, if possible, work. Johnston Community School District provides summer school, and we also take kids to DMACC for classes. “I really love giving our kids independence to leave campus for school or work,” Nikki said.
Summer programming allows our youth to have a relaxing summer and helps them grow as people. We enjoy watching them play, laugh and be a kid while learning life skills. Our summer staff is a big help in accomplishing this. Now, we look forward to seeing our youth continue to have fun, grow and succeed throughout the school year.