Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Children’s Day… Every year, the spring is filled with family holidays. Phoenix Houses of California celebrated family bonds in a unique way during its first Bring Your Children to Work Day held on April 25, 2013. The staff from all departments brought in their children, ranging in age from five to sixteen years. There was a lot for them to do and see; they hardly had a moment to rest.
The day started with a guided tour of Phoenix House. First, the children visited David Griggs, our Information Technology Manager, who took apart computer screens, hard drives, and other computer parts, revealing how electronics are built to function. He impressed our guests so much that one boy considered “seeing the maze of wires and little, blinking lights inside the computer parts” to be the highlight of the entire day. Second, Mario, the gardener in charge of our lush grounds took the kids to the fruit, vegetable and herb garden and spoke to them about healthy eating habits. The children could pick some peppers and strawberries.
Munching on fresh, organic goods, they strolled onto the next activity where Jan Gault, Director of Business Development, used candy to explain the concept of dual diagnosis, that is having issues of both mental health and substance abuse that needed treatment. Next, Elijah Wells, a Senior Accountant, tutored the kids on the bare basics of budgeting and accounting. They listened carefully and learned a lesson useful for their own lives.
Arts and Crafts
After lunch with their parents, children enjoyed working on arts and crafts projects. They listened to an explanation about the concept of the family tree and had an opportunity to draw their own family tree on a white poster board. Each young artist depicted their own family tree, illustrated with portraits. They also created a Thank You card for their parents, which proved a delightful surprise.
The highlight of the day was a tour of our music studio, with John Morabito, Music Director, who showed off the state-of-the-art music equipment for our Phoenix Rising Music Program. At first the kids were shy, but Kimia, the daughter of Pouria Abbassi, SVP and California Regional Director, showed her leadership skills, as she took the microphone and sang a song. In return, she received her own recording. Another young recording artist followed with some beat box rhythms, and a lively accompaniment created by John Morabito.
It wasn’t until the end of the day that the parents learnt what an educational and action-packed experience Phoenix House staff offered to their children. Jane Martin of Human Resources, who organized the tour with Irma Matta, commented: “I found it rewarding to be involved in this event, so children could see ‘in real time’ how their parents contribute to the success and mission of Phoenix House.” A proud parent, Controller Aracely Mayoral, summed up the Bring Your Children to Work Day:
“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that they are someone today. Children make our life important and Phoenix House made my children feel important by allowing them to learn and share the different business functions within our organization. I always encourage my girls to learn everything they can, anytime they can, from anyone they can – because there will always come a time when they will be grateful they did.”
Children got a chance to peek into the life of an adult and learn what their parents do all day. The variety of activities they were exposed to during their visit to Phoenix House definitely helped make their parents’ work “look cool.”
For more information about our substance abuse and mental health treatment programs, or to refer someone in need for admission to our residential or outpatient services for teens with co-occurring disorders at the Phoenix House Academy of Los Angeles, please call our Call Center at 1 888 671 9392. We are here to help you find the information and services you need!