While some parents may feel unsure about bringing their kids to work, the parents at the Phoenix Houses of California rather enthusiastically brought their kids to Bring Your Child(ren) to Work Day. The fourth Tuesday of April marks the yearly festive day, and our second annual festivity brought twice as many children as did last year’s. Perhaps the reason for our growing success is the rich dynamics present within our Phoenix House Academy of Los Angeles premises.
With such an array of activities, it would be difficult to bore our special guests. About 20 children and teens, ranging in age from 6 to 17, began their day with some healthy snacks and juices while becoming acquainted through icebreakers. Pouria Abbassi, Senior Vice President and Regional Director, then greeted everyone and shed light on the significance of their parents’ work, explaining the importance of helping those in need of treatment and counseling. Afterwards, they were taken to the computer lab where David Griggs, our IT Specialist, took apart a computer and showed everyone how chips and wires work together to allow us use the technology. Next, they were taken to a conference room to listen to the significance of finance in business and to participate in a budgeting demonstration, where they determined whether they had sufficient funds for various payments.
Upon being relieved to learn that they had adequate funds, the children and teens were led outside to decorate ceramic pots and plant flower seeds. Warm sunlight and a gentle breeze created a perfect backdrop for the outdoor activity beneath shady oak trees. Some expressed their creativity by painting their pots, while others took advantage of the weather and explored our well-manicured grounds. After some running around, it was lunch time with their parents.
Once satiated, it was time for one of the highlights of the day: visiting the music studio. Music Director John Morabito glossed over his work and then gave the young people a chance to sing to their favorite song. After recording, he made a few sound adjustments and played back the songs for us to hear. Everyone was surely surprised to learn how easy it is to alter one’s voice to make it sound digital or smooth.
While half the youth were entertained in the music studio, the other half sat in on an educational presentation by Tony Fratantonio, the Odyssey Unit Director for our male teen clients. Perhaps what was the most eye-opening activity followed: listening to a male and female client speak about their individual progress through treatment and success in achieving sobriety. This interaction allowed them to see the people that their parents are helping and surely made them proud of their parents. Kevin Ralph, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, announced closing remarks, but by then, the kids were having difficulty staying put and refraining from swapping jokes. It looks as though the wonderful day with well-behaved children and teens will bring forth another successful Bring Your Kids to Work Day next year.
If you or a loved one needs help dealing with substance abuse and mental health issues, please call us at 1 888 671 9392. At Phoenix House Academy in Los Angeles, experienced and caring professionals offer effective counseling and treatment that will have lasting results. We are here to help.