Teacher Appreciation Week
Every year, there are a myriad of National Business Profession days recognizing hard work and commitment to the job. This year, we chose to celebrate a group of individuals who, in our minds, go beyond the call of duty every day. As part of National Teacher Appreciation Week, we held a small ceremony for our Little Oak Learning Center staff complete with arts and crafts stations for the kids, a painted handprint filled "Thank You" banner, and goodie bags for each of the teachers and staff members.
Little Oak Learning Center (LOLC) is an on-site employee based childcare center that has been an added benefit to Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort employees for the past 17 years. Founded on September 1, 2000, LOLC is privately funded by the Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians and resides in a state of the art 10,000 sqft. building on property with individual classes for children ages 18 months through 12 years. In addition to the large indoor classrooms and spaces for activities, there is over 5,000 sqft. of outdoor play area with separated playgrounds - all of which are completely fenced in. LOLC is open 363 days out of the year and is available for Jackson Rancheria's day and swing shift employees to utilize. Summer and school vacation programs are the most popular with nearly 70 children in attendance daily.
At Little Oak, the teaching staff is dedicated to providing quality care and education for the children enrolled. Each class follows a daily lesson plan with a set curriculum and every member of the teaching staff goes above and beyond to see to the needs of their students, whether it is extra help in a subject or learning social skills. Teacher Lisa Thurston says her fondest memory was "when we took the chilren to the Exploratorium in San Francsico. Watching the kids explore, discovering, and learning new things was incredible." Ms. Teresa said, "There is nothing more gratifying than being greeted by children knowing that we have made such a significant impact in their lives." Miss Syndi said, "Working with children allows me to 'play' every day, along with the physical and mental exercise. Children keep me laughing and looking at the world through a new perspective. Seeing the world through their eyes keeps me young. The random hugs throughout the day are also the best! To be able to experience all this at Little Oak is an added blessing the Tribe provides us."
It's obvious that the teaching staff, led by Manager Ami Hagood, love what they do and take their jobs seriously. "I love seeing children smile and watch them as they grow. Coming into work and having the children comfortable enough to hug you or tell you their most precious thoughts without hesitation is a self-rewarding feeling within itself," said Hagood.
It takes a big heart to shape little minds and we are grateful for our teachers at Little Oak Learning Center. Thank you for your continued dedication and guidance of our employees' children!
4th Annual Chaw'se Day
Mark your calendars! The Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians invites our communities to Chaw'se Day Spring Gathering at the Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park. As with year's past, this event will be two days- Saturday, May 27 & Sunday, May 28. Chaw'se Day is open to the public and admission is FREE.
Over the past four years, the Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians have led and completed the restoration efforts at Chaw'se, including rebuilding the traditional Round House. They now invite the public to join them in welcoming Spring with Native American games, cuisine, dancing, crafts, guided park tours, and more. Please be respectful as this park is a sacred space for our Tribe.
The event is open 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. For additional event information or for Native American craft and vendor registration, please contact Natasha Ballew at email@example.com or 209-223-8102.
Chaw'se Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park is located at 14881 Pine Grove Volcano Road, Pine Grove, CA 95665.
GIVING SEASON DONATIONS
The Giving Season promotion is an annual tradition for Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort. Kicking off in mid-November, the promotion runs through the month of December and encourages Dreamcatcher's Club® members to donate their points back in order to raise money for local charities and foundations. This year, Dreamcatcher's Club® members donated $28,43 in points! As with year's past, the Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians matched the donation up to $10,000, which brought 2016's total to a record breaking $38,433. CEO Rich Hoffman stated, "We are constantly astounded by the generosity of our loyal players, guests, and the Tribe. These five charities are close to our hearts and the donations we raised this year will be used to better our community, as well as lend a helping hand to people in need."
The following charities received $7,686.60 each: Interfaith Food Bank, Calaveras Food Bank, Calaveras Habitat for Humanity, Amador County Senior Center, and Amador County Meals on Wheels. Representatives from these organizations, pictured above, attended a Check Presentation Ceremny on Thursday, January 26 where CEO Rich Hoffman awarded the charities their funds.
For more information about these charities and how to help, please see the contacts below:
Amador Senior Center - Laurie, 209-223-0442 firstname.lastname@example.org
Amador Meals on Wheels - Anne Boyce, 209-223-3015 email@example.com
Interfaith Food Bank - Tom Thompson, 209-267-9006 firstname.lastname@example.org
Calaveras Food Bank - Tina Mather, 209-754-1257 email@example.com
Calaveras Habitat for Humanity - Todd Peterson, 209-754-5331 ToddP@habitatcalaveras.org
Mustard Seed Christmas 2016
The rain clouds parted and the sun was shining on that brisk Wednesday morning as Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort teamed up with Mustard Seed Elementary School at Loaves & Fishes in Sacramento to bring gifts to all of the children currently enrolled. Last year, Mustard Seed reached out to JRCR in hopes for a nice Christmas surprise and the event has now become a Christmas tradition! Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort staff meticulously planned, shopped for, and wrapped over 60 presents for Santa to hand out. Of course Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort CEO Rich Hoffman was happy to don his Santa suit. The excitement, especially from the younger classes, was palpable and heartwarming to all involved.
This year, children received new coats, gloves and hats, a new toy, an Amazon Kindle, as well as gift cards to Amazon and McDonalds for weekend meals. The school received donations of hand santizing wipes, cases of Kleenexs, and an Amazon gift cards to purchase any rainy day necessities like disposable ponchos, blankets, or umbrellas. Parents and guardians of the children also were gifted Wal-Mart gift cards so that children could wake up on Christmas morning with presents. Overall, there wasn't a dry eye in the house as all of the kids unwrapped their presents and visited with Santa.
Mustard Seed Elementary School is a free, private school for children ages 3 to 15. Mustard Seed provides a safe, nurturing and structured environment, a positive learning experience, and any assistance for entering or reentering public school systems to homeless children. Many homeless children are not enrolled in school because the places their families find to sleep are often not near schools and the family only plans to be there for a short while. The average time a child is enrolled at Mustard Seed is between three to four weeks. While there, they receive the necessary tools to help them prepare for reentering public schools.
For more information and to donate to Mustard Seed, please visit SacLoaves.org.
The Amador Ledger Merges with The Acorn News
The Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians is proud to announce its purchase of the Amador Ledger Dispatch newspaper. The acquisition will merge the Amador Ledger Dispatch with the Tribe’s recently established publication, The Acorn News.
The newly formed publication will operate as the The Acorn News, a full service newspaper serving Amador and Calaveras Counties.
The Acorn News will be distributed on Tuesdays and Fridays and offer four main sections – “Acorn News,” “On the Vine” (featuring arts, entertainment and events), “Roots” (featuring history, life and community) and “In The Game,” a sports section. The Acorn News will also have an online element, which is currently under construction and can expect to be launched in the coming weeks. The Acorn News is staffed by 10 employees.
“The Acorn News is fortunate to have an active owner that lives, breathes and is deeply invested in the local community,” said Jack Mitchell, Publisher of The Acorn News. “We look forward to providing Amador and Calaveras Counties with a world class newspaper that exceeds expectations and provides critical information that our readers desire.”
Unlike many local newspapers, The Acorn News will be affiliated with the Associated Press and have the ability to provide its readers with comprehensive news coverage from across the country and around the world while remaining devoted to breaking local news coverage. The Acorn News will also offer a weekly TV Guide insert, senior page, education page and children’s page, among other unique features.
“It is our hope that The Acorn News will be a valued gift to our community,” said Adam Dalton, Chairman of the Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians. “The Acorn News will be staffed by talented journalists who have decades of experience and are deeply committed to journalistic independence.”
The Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians recently donated $5,000 to the California Tribal TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) in an effort to help expand the program's reach into Native American communities. California TANF works to help families achieve self-sufficiency through educational training, career and employment opportunities, as well as various supported services with programs that have temporary financial assistance. For additional information about the TANF program, call 209-257-6150 or visit www.cttp.net.
Meet 12 year old Alexandria. Alex was born on August 30 to proud parents Doug and Roxanne. Growing up in Sacramento with her brother David, Alexandria did not show any signs that something was out of the ordinary. That all changed in November 2014 when Alex bumped her leg against a door. The resulting lump lasted for more than seven weeks and became more and more painful as time passed. Alex was taken to the hospital where an x-ray revealed a tumor in her leg and she was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. She underwent an amputation and began chemotherapy treatment. Alex hopes that she will soon be able to have a prosthetic attachment.
Some of Alex's favorite things include the color purple, music by Maroon 5, actress Dove Cameron, and the board game Life. Her favorite foods are nachos, KitKats, and she loves to eat at Sizzler. Alex's hobbies include reading The Hunger Games, watching Disney Channel, swimming, and riding horses. She loves to play with her two yellow labs and two guinea pigs and to get frozen yogurt with her friends. Alex's favorite family vacation is going camping.
Alexandria has an incredible love of horses. Her favorite movie is Black Beauty and her family remembers her sharing her love of horses ever since she was able to talk. Alex has not let her medical condition slow her down and still is an avid horse rider. For her wish, Alex is wants a horse all her own. She dreams of meeting her new friend and hopes that one day they might even participate in riding competitions. Horses are known for being theraputic to humans, and after all she has been through with her life-threatening illness, there is nothing Alex neds more than a companion who can help her enjoy life and bring a smile back to her face.
This week, we're introducing you to Carter, an 18 year old Make-A-Wish kid who's dream is to go on a Disney Cruise in the Bahamas. Timothy and Jana welcomed their first child, Carter, on December 21, 1997. When Carter was born, Jana's maternal instinct told her that something was not right with her new baby. She refued to leave the hospital and knew it was crucial for Carter to undergo further evaluation. Three hours after Jana decided to keep him under medical watch, Carter began to turn blue and was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. Before he was even one month old, Carter underwent his first heart surgery and a complication resulted in the requirement of a pacemaker. Unfortunately, the stress on Carter's family was increased when his father was diagnosed with lymphoma and required a bone marrow transplant.
Through the obstacles he's faced, Carter remains upbeat and enjoys basketball and listening to the band Newsboys. He is a fan of the color orange, Lord of the Rings, and the Seattle Seahawks. Carter learned to cook from his dad, and he loves Beef Wellington and créme brulee.
When Carter found out that he had the opportunity to wish for something speacil, he had a difficult time deciding exactly what that experience would be. Carter considered wishing to go on a cruise, visiting Disney World, or visiting the Kennedy Space Center. Ultimately, Carter chose a relaxing Disney Cruise in the Bahamas. Carter hopes that if his wish is granted, he will have the chance to explore the ship's different ports of call, relaxon the beach, swim in the ocean, and maybe even see a dolphin. No matter which of his wish ideas come true, Carter feels that the most important aspect of his wish will be sharing this break from battling his medical condition together with his family.
"Just to feel like our family is having fun, without the stress of illness, would be so great," Carter said. "My family continues to make so many sacrifices for me that having one time where we didn't have to think about any of that would be fun!"
Meet Delaney, one of the children whose been sponsored by our 2nd Annual Wishes on Wheels Charity Motorcycle Ride. At nine years old, Delaney has already endured and triumped over more of life's challenges and obstacles than most individuals encounter their entire lives. On February 9, 2011, Delaney went into cardiac arrest while at school. A teacher was able to resuscitate her until the ambulance arrived and she was rushed to the hospital. Once there, Delaney was placed under a medically-induced coma for four days while doctors attemped to discover what had caused the cardiac arrest and provide information to Delaney's parents, Douglas and Monica.
After an evaluation, the doctor's delivered grime news about Delaney to her parents: she would either not be able to survive, or she would live in a vegetated state. But Delaney is a figher, and shocked everyone by waking from the coma as her usual self. She was even asking about school and when her family would go on their next vacation.
At the end of her hospital stay, Delaney had an ICD implanted above her heart. When her heart starts to beat at a deathly rhythm, the device shocks her heart back to a normal pace. While the shock feels like being kicked in the chest and makes Delaney pass out, it as saved her life four times since it was implanted.
When Make-A-Wish was introduced to Delaney, she was asked what she wanted as her wish. Almost without hesitation, she requested a room makeover. According to Monica, her daughter wanted a more grown up room that reflected her personality. For Delaney, having a space that is all her own will bring the joy that has been taken away from her medical journey. On August 14, 2016, Delaney will be singing the National Anthem before the ride at Folsom Harley Davidson.
MUSTARD SEED END OF THE YEAR PARTY
Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort staff, accompanied by CEO Rich Hoffman, helped put on an End of the School Year party for the students of Mustard Seed School. Since the Christmas Party in December, Mustard Seed School and the kids enrolled there have held a special place in our hearts. When the opportunity to work with the school again presented itself, we jumped into action.
So on Thursday, June 9, JRCR staff and CEO Rich Hoffman spent the morning at McKinley Park in Sacramento for Mustard Seed’s End of the School Year party. Kids were able to play on the volleyball courts, jump rope, play hoola hoops, get their face painted, or make superheros and minions at the craft table. After a couple hours of playing, everyone participated in a good ol’ fashioned BBQ! Hot dogs, hamburgers, fresh fruit, juice, and chips.
Mustard Seed Elementary at Loaves and Fishes Homeless Shelter provides a safe, nurturing and structured environment, as well as a positive learning center. They were founded in 1989 to help meet the need of education for children no longer enrolled in public school due to homelessness, lack of immunizations, birth certificates, etc.
Chaw'se Day 2016
Chaw'se Day is back again this year! Join the Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians as we welcome Spring at the Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park on Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29. This community event is open to the public and admission is FREE. The event will run from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days and we encourage all to attend.
Due to the popularity of the event last year, the Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians decided to add an additional day so that the community can enjoy their time learning about Chaw'se and the Native Culture. Same as last year, there will be traditional dances, Native vendors selling jewelry, dreamcatchers, clothing, crafts, and much more! Enjoy an Indian Taco, take a guided tour of the park, visit the grinding rock, or head up the hill to the museum to learn more about the Miwuk people. Kids are able to get creative and make traditional crafts as well!
The Chaw'se Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park has been renovated and we can't think of a better way to welcome Spring than at this community event. For those interested in becoming a vendor, please contact Natasha Ballew at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Chaw'se Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park is located at 14881 Pine Grove Volcano Rd., Pine Grove, CA 95665.
Photos from Chaw'se Day 2015:
MUSTARD SEED VISIT
On Monday, December 14, Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort CEO Rich Hoffman and helpers visited Mustard Seed Elementary at Loaves and Fishes homeless shelter in Sacramento to bring holiday cheer to children enrolled in the school. Mustard Seed School provides a safe, nuturing and structured environment, as well as a positive learning center for homeless children in the Sacramento area. They were founded in 1989 to help meet the need of education for children no longer enrolled in public school due to homelessness, lack of immunizations, birth certificates, lack of transit, etc. In spite of their situations, these children are eager to learn and to be accepted. CEO Rich Hoffman, dressed as Santa, visited with the 45 children currently enrolled between the ages of 4 and 14. The children were able to talk to Santa about what they wanted for Christmas, then received gifts including new coats, beanies, gloves, candy, a new toy, a tablet, and a tablet case. "The kids are in need, we saw an opportunity to spread some love and good will, and we jumped at it," said CEO Rich Hoffman.
COMING SUMMER 2016!
The Hotel is currently under construction and the process is anticipated to run until June 2016. We apologize for any inconveniece during the construction period, but we give you our pledge that we will work hard to ensure your stay is enjoyable. Thank you for your support! We look forward to having an even more beautiful hotel in Summer 2016.
Little Oak Learning Center Celebrates 15 Years!
Founded as an added benefit to employees, Little Oak Learning Center is privately funded by the Tribe and resides in a state of the art 10,000 sq. ft. building on property, with individual classes for children ages 18 months through 12 years of age. In addition to the large indoor classrooms and spaces for activities, there is over 5,000 sq. ft. of outdoor area with separated playgrounds- all of which are completely fenced in. Little Oak Learning Center is open 363 days out of the year and is available for Jackson Rancheria’s day and swing shift employees to utilize. Summer and school vacation programs are the most popular with Little Oak, with nearly 70 children in attendance daily.
At Little Oak Learning Center, the teaching staff is dedicated to providing quality care and education for the children enrolled. Each class follows a daily lesson plan with a set curriculum and every member of the teaching staff goes above and beyond to see to the needs of their students, whether it be extra help in a subject, or learning social skills. When asked what some of their favorite memories were, Ms. Linda, who has been working at Little Oak since it’s inception, said, “My most memorable moments are when children still say hello or give us a hug out in the community, even if they are no longer enrolled. This is truly a rewarding job, to do what you love.” Teacher Lisa Thurston says her fondest memory was “when we took the children to the Exploratorium in San Francisco. Watching the kids explore, discovering, and learning new things was incredible.” Ms. Teresa said, “There is nothing more gratifying than being greeted by children knowing that we have made such a significant impact in their lives.” It’s obvious that the teaching staff, led by Manager Ami Hagood, love what they do and take their jobs as instructing and guiding the kids seriously.
While the teaching staff shared memories from the last 15 years, some parents also had a chance to reminisce on what they too love about Little Oak Learning Center:
“Little Oak was my kids’ home away from home. The decision to place our children in someone else’s care while we were at work was very difficult, but knowing that your children are in a safe, clean, fun environment with people who truly care about the kids is the best thing a parent could ask for.” – Corbi Pitzer
“Little Oak has been an enriching environment that has helped shape and guide my two little girls into beautiful, positive, and strong individuals. The teachers are so passionate about children and their education. Little Oak and the staff there have become family.” –Krista Cagle
“For my family, Little Oak has meant we have a safe and fun place to take our kids when we work. The teachers at Little Oak have always been topnotch and have exceeded our expectations with the care they’ve given our children. The teachers there have taught my kids how to read, write, recognize shapes, eat at the table, and how to serve themselves food. I am so thankful for having Little Oak as a benefit from the Tribe and very thankful to the amazing people who have taught and touched my kids’ and our family’s’ lives!”- Melody Mauck
Here’s to another fifteen years, Little Oak Learning Center! Thank you for your continued dedication and guidance of our employees’ children.
Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians Donates $15,000
Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort recently held its 27th Annual Spring Charity Golf Classic at Castle Oaks Golf Course on April 24, 2015. The tournament raised funds for charity and this year will contribute a $15,000 donation to the Foothill Indian Education Alliance, Inc.
The Foothill Indian Education Alliance, Inc. is a Native non-profit organization that has been serving the academic and cultural related needs of Native American students grades K- 12 attending public schools in El Dorado and Amador counties for the past 19 years. "A donation like this is truly appreciated and so incredibly invaluable to our organization. We are completely grant funded and grateful for this donation. There are times that our program needs to make purchases or provide services to our families that are not allowed by our grant," said James Marquez, Director of the Foothill Indian Education Alliance, Inc. "The need does not go away when we don't have access to available unrestricted funds. We just have to find other ways to fill those needs. This very generous donation from Jackson Rancheria will allow us to meet student and family academic cultural needs that would otherwise go unmet. We are honored to be the receipient of this very generous donation." Jackson Rancheria will be hosting their Annual Fall Tournament on October 9, 2015 at Castle Oaks Golf Course and plan to release additional details soon.
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