Monthly Archives: August 2016

Billings DeLorean Club Celebrates Back to School with YBGR Kids

Photo: Billings DeLorean Club Members (Clockwise): Brock Williams, Justin Voeller, Vern Ball, and Nick Lambert; Not pictured: Bill Murphy Photo courtesy of Larry Mayer of Billings Gazette
Billings DeLorean Club Members (Clockwise): Brock Williams, Justin Voeller, Vern Ball, and Nick Lambert; Not pictured: Bill Murphy.  Photo courtesy of Larry Mayer of Billings Gazette

The Billings DeLorean Club will be showing off their wheels at Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch for the first-ever Back to the Future Back to School Car Show.

“Our club usually participates in parades and local car shows, so a back to school event is something new for us,” said Justin Voeller, who plans to dress as the character, “Doc”, from the Back to the Future movies. “I enjoy seeing others get the same amount of enjoyment as I do out of the car.”

DeLoreans were produced from 1981 until 1983. They feature a signature stainless steel body and gullwing doors.

“We are ecstatic about bringing these retro cars to campus for our kids,” said Gillette Vaira, the director of public relations at YBGR. “The back-to-school spirit is alive at the Ranch, and the DeLoreans will make this time of year even more special.”

Close to 60 youth who live on Yellowstone’s campus will be turning out for the show the evening of their first day of school. They’ll be watching Back to the Future movies prior to the event to get into the 1980s groove.

YBGR Expands Services within Billings Public Schools

Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch is expanding its services within Billings Public Schools. The growth of the program is a result of an increase in mental health needs among students in the school district.

“We are seeing a higher demand for mental health services for our young people,” said Terry Bouck, the superintendent of Billings Public Schools. “Working with YBGR helps us to meet the needs of students and their families.”

P66-14-WEB-150x150Yellowstone has provided Comprehensive School and Community Treatment services for School District Two since 2014. CSCT teams, which include a master’s degree level therapist and bachelor’s degree level behavior specialist, provide mental health therapy and behavior interventions to students while they remain in their regular school environments.

YBGR is recruiting four therapists and four behavior specialists to create the additional teams. With these new employees, YBGR will have will have an additional team at Lewis and Clark Middle School, two teams at Medicine Crow Middle School, and one team  at Frameworks, an alternative classroom at the Lincoln Center. Once the four new teams are operating, YBGR will have 12 total teams in Billings Public Schools. YBGR also offers CSCT services in Dillon, Shepherd, Laurel, Lewistown, and Lockwood, as well as Elder Grove and Independent Elementary Schools.

“We are proud to work with schools throughout Montana to meet the mental health needs of youth and families,” said Kim Chouinard, the executive director of YBGR’s Community Based Services program. “We are excited about expanding our services within School District Two and are honored to continue working with all of our school partners across the state. It is a great program that provides hope for children and families.”

Billings Public Schools enrolls more than 16,000 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. The district has 22 elementary schools, five middle schools, three high schools, and a Career Center. School District Two employs about 1,400 full-time equivalent positions.

Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch, a nonprofit organization, is trusted locally and nationally as a leader in the field of mental health care for children and their families. Each day, YBGR’s employees across the state work with close to 600 youth who struggle with controlling emotions and behaviors. YBGR has impacted more than 10,000 youth and their families since 1957 through Residential Services in Billings, Community Based Services throughout Montana, and the Yellowstone Academy in Billings.

Lions, Tigers, and… Armadillos?

By Morgan Tuss, Public Relations Intern

The kids squirmed in their seats wondering what was in those three containers. Troy Paisley of Zoo Montana opened up the first container and pulled out a terrarium. Its contents—a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach!

The kids rustled in their seats; some stood up and groaned, “Ew,” or “Cool!”

As Troy stood at the front of the Chapel, he explained that animals have tools and adaptations which help them survive in their environments. He held the bug in his hands and explained how cockroaches hiss like a snake when they feel threatened. He explained that without cockroaches, we might not have vanilla or chocolate ice cream… That’s right! This particular species of cockroach originates from the same forests where vanilla and cocoa beans were first found. Without the forest cleaning and maintenance work that cockroaches provide, these beans might not grow!

Zoo-1-WEB-150x150With the cockroach safely put away, Troy unlatched the next container and introduced Bambi, the Three Banded Armadillo.

“Aw,” said some of the girls. Eyes bulging, their hands sprung up. “Can I touch it?”

Watching the armadillo wiggle, the kids were dazzled. Troy explained that this armadillo is different from other species because of the unique tri-banded armor on its back. This trait gives the armadillo the ability to flex and wiggle— just as it was doing. He brought the Armadillo around for the kids to see. They giggled at its hairy tummy.

“It’s almost like it hasn’t shaved,” said Troy, jokingly.

After watching Bambi explore the floor for food, she was returned to her traveling crate.

The kids knew there were three animals, so what was next? Troy stretched his gloved hand into the covered enclosure and pulled out Gabel, the Great Horned Owl.

The kids’ eyes glowed as they admired the large bird. In awe, they watched as he stretched out his wings.

Zoo-2-WEB-150x150The kids learned that Gabel is named after Gabel Road in Billings, where he was hit by a car. His injuries resulted in an amputation of his right wing. Troy explained that because of this, he could not be returned to the wild and landed a permanent home at ZooMontana. He also clarified that owls cannot turn their heads all the way around, but that they do have twice the amount of vertebrae in their necks as humans. This allows them to turn their heads a great deal further than us.

At the end of the presentation, the kids were excited when Troy offered them to properly pet the back of the armadillo, while of course, sanitizing their hands after. Lined up, the kids walked up one by one to pet it.

Some of the girls couldn’t decide whether their favorite animal was Gabel or Bambi, but it’s certain that they had a hoot!