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ThinkBIGTexas – Action Items

   (page down to get involved)Dr. Ken Canfield

On November 18th at Lone Oak Ranch and Retreat a key group of leaders representing business, government, education, healthcare, media, congregation, and community met with Dr. Ken Canfield and Phil Larson of SOLUM CTI.

SOLUM CTI offers researched resources (classes and consultation and custom design for businesses, education, community, government, congregations, healthcare, media, and arts) for Life Skills (thinking, social skills, goal setting), Family Builders (Parenting and Couples Communication), Anger Management (Compassion Power), and Getting Ahead in a Just Getting By World (addressing the 15 factors that contribute to poverty).  Today in Cooke County, we are working with adults under Community Supervision (probation) in Life Skills and Parenting and Community Service mentoring.  We have graduated 105 from ten week workshops and have 60 pending.  That is 2100 hours of workshop in the last 18 months.  That does not include the homework done outside of sessions. We have given proposals to Juvenile Community Supervision and hope to develop a viable program with them in 2016.  SOLUM CTI has met with the PTA at Edison and principal and assistant principal and started the conversation for Watch D.O.G.S.

As an IRS approved 501c3, SOLUM CTI always appreciates your consideration for giving and contracting.  You make a big difference in “fixing fractured families”.   Solumcommunity.net/give
The Discussion:

One of the tables proposed a vision for action for Cooke County: A positive, educational, safe support system for parents and children allowing each individual to feel valued and accepted.


The primary areas of concern differed from table to table; however, children, youth, and families came up repeatedly.

It was good to see so many exchanging names and offering partnership to each other.  It was good to see each person walking away with ideas in their hands on which to go back and take action.

Dr. Canfield and I have talked multiple times since the event and are working on some items for grandparents.


Here is what I need you to do next:

Out of the five areas identified, on which area(s) would you like to be involved in further planning and conversation that will result in an action plan?

  1. Grandparents (enabling and empowering)
    1. Grandparents are increasingly becoming primary caretakers for children. They represent a strong moral base of concerned citizens that believe in giving of their time and financial resources. They also need undergirding and strengthening of relationships to offset depression and loneliness.  Establishing ways for grandparents to get involved in mentoring and WatchDOGS have been mentioned along with developing a Grandparenting training and support groups were mentioned.
  2. Parents (educating and undergirding)
    1. Develop key trainings in conjunction with all areas and offer as weekend and evening workshops.
  3. Communication (of resources to people needing them and between people)
    1. Help United Way organizations and others get the message to those that have needs about resource availability.
    2. Help businesses build sensitivity to how 15 factors affect their employees and increase retention.
  4. Watch D.O.G.S. (hands down recommended to make this happen)
    1. Enable men in the schools and attach mentors from congregations, businesses, and seniors.
  5. Diversity (having key events)
    1. Multicultural event (or emphasis of an existing event such as Depot Days) featuring art, dance, activities, and food from cultures in the area – German, Latino, Asian, etc. Bring the entire community together.

Register your interest here:

If you would like to enter the discussion now click here, Area of Community, for the word file to enter new information.

Some of our discussion hosts:

arleeneloydArleene Loyd:

Arleene grew up in West Texas and graduated from Permian High School in Odessa, TX.  She completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Public Relations from Texas Tech University and finished a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Sul Ross University.  Arleene spent 19 years as a Director of Continuing Education and Workforce Training at Odessa College.  For the past 7 years, she was the Director of Business Retention and Expansion for the Odessa Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Department.   On October 1, 2014, she became the Executive Director of the Gainesville Economic Development Corporation.   Arleene has two grown children.  Kelley is a counselor for Dallas International Schools and Matt is an investor.

edzielinskiEd Zielinski:

County Attorney – Cooke County, Texas Ed has been licensed to practice law in both New York and Texas and was a Captain in the United States Army.  He has served as General Counsel for a non-profit organization; Assistant District Attorney in Cooke County and also as the Justice of the Peace.  Ed received a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Detroit, Juris Doctor Degree from Gonzaga University School of Law in Washington and is a graduate from United States Army Judge Advocate General’s School.


Angie Hare:

Since 2003, Angie has served Cooke County as the Director of the United Way.  Her leadership has seen giving increase and impact expand. Angie is married to John Hare, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Gainesville, Texas.  Angie is active throughout the community as a participant in Texas Business Women, Gainesville Chamber, Muenster Chamber, Valley View Chamber, United Daughters of Confederacy, Order of Confederate Rose, Republican Women of Cooke County.  She is a non-stop energizer and community contributor.  She is often noted for her public speaking, team building, and strategic planning skills.

pabloPablo De Santiago:  Principal of Edison Elementary in Gainesville, Texas.  Pablo adheres to the vision of the school, “Edison Elementary School will provide a quality education for students in a professional learning and family environment where respect, responsibility, self-control, and quality are expected by all.”  He is a solid administrator and loved by kids and teachers alike.

jeffproctorJeff Proctor:  Hospital Liason at University Behavioral Health in Denton and owner of Painted Acres Horse Farm.  Jeff is a marketing and sales development professional.  His entrepreneurial nature is only matched by his compassionate action for others.  Jeff is working to build the outreach, Service With Purpose, a personal action and mentoring group training young men and women in servant leadership through helping the disabled and elderly.

sheldonballattSheldon Ballatt, PhD : Reverend Ballatt serves as the pastor of St. James CME in Gainesville for the last 11 years.  Sheldon graduated from Morgan State University with a degree in Physical Education.  Prior to retiring, Sheldon served as a campus administrator in the Dallas school system.  Sheldon and his congregation are overseeing the historic restoration of the St James church building, Gainesville’s oldest church structure dating back to 1904.  The congregation is over 140 years old.

Life Skills:  Research shows new criminal offense rates drop 33%.  Cost of one year incarceration is $29,000.  Untrained recidivism is 67%.

Parenting and Couples Communication Research of Prep effectiveness and Prep Extension for Parenting “On My Shoulders”

Parenting and Couples Communication Research of Relational training on inmates and probationer anger management, relationships, criminality avoidance, employment

Compassion Power – Anger Management-  In Prince George’s County, Maryland, graduates of
the CompassionPower core value workshops (N=298) were 86%
violence free and 71% verbal aggression free, after one year, based on the
reports of victims. Violence is defined as a push, grab, or shove as measured
by the Conflict Tactics Scale. (Of the recidivists, 8% committed serious
violence, defined as at least one instance of beating up, choking, or
threatening with a weapon). 75% of court-ordered attendees complete the course.