Friday, August 29, 2014


SMPHA fans, we appreciate all your support throughout the years and WE NEED YOUR HELP to help spread some good!

#spreadgoodseptember is a contest to see if we can get up to 400 “Likes” on Facebook and YOU CAN HELP! Here’s how:
1. Download and print the flyer below from our website or get a copy at any of our Resident Services Offices. (You could also write down with the hashtag on it)
2. Pass out the flyer to someone or post it on bulletin boards. People will be pleasantly surprised!
3. Take a selfie passing/posting the flyer and post it on our Facebook site ( with the hashtag #spreadgoodseptember

The person who posts the most pictures of themselves “spreading some good” will be our winner! They will be featured on our newsletter and our Facebook banner! 

Contest ends September 30th!

Friday, July 25, 2014


Need a cheap, fun activity for the summer? We made these animal planters with our teen program and they were a hit! Follow these steps to complete this project:

-Plastic animals (squishy enough to cut through)
-X-acto knife (adult use only)
-Spray paint
-Gloss (optional)
-Decoration material (paints, glitter, jewels, sequence, etc)

1. Adult Step--Adults need to cut a square into the back of the plastic animal with an X-acto knife.
2. Cover your child with goggles, masks, and over-sized shirts before they spray paint (the kids pretended to be mad scientist!). Cover an area with newspaper, plastic, or cardboard before spray painting. Shake spray and point. Do not spray on too thickly or the paint will run and it will take much longer to dry.

3. Optional Step: Adult Step--once dried, spray on gloss or any other type of clear protection on your plastic animal. Wait for it to dry.
4. Allow kids to decorate with materials you may have (paints, glitter, jewels, sequence, etc). Have glue and paintbrushes ready.
5. Once dried, put in air plant. We found ours outside that fall down from the trees. All they need is a little bit of water once a week and circulated air to survive.
6. Enjoy!   

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fun with Boxes and Imagination!

Sometimes all you really need is something as simple as boxes to have fun! Our kids had a great imagination day using boxes! We created different pieces with different sizes of boxes. Check out some of our "inventions":

 Time Machine
 Rocket booster

Our kids were even inspired to make their own inventions and art using boxes and pieces of toys!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Bobcat Build Thank Yous

What is Bobcat Build?

"A year of planning, a day of service"

 Bobcat Build was started in 2002 and inspired by Texas A&M's Big Event.  This one-day community service project is now the second largest of its kind in the state of Texas.  Bobcat Build is a way to say "Thank You" to the community of San Marcos for supporting the students of Texas State University. 


Bobcat Build continues to grow in numbers as this past year was one of our biggest years yet!  We had over 3,400 volunteers and served 168 jobsites!

-source: Texas State University Website

The San Marcos Housing Authority definitely benefited from the efforts of the students that participated in Bobcat Build 2014. From cleaning up the playgrounds to taking out dead bushes, we'd like to say a big THANK YOU to the following participating groups for helping to keep the Housing Authority beautiful!

Omega Delta Phi

Laurel Residents Hall

 Alpha Delta Pi

Working with Texas State University has given us opportunities to build stronger relationships with the students and in turn, the students become more aware about the community around them. Thank you Bobcat Build!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Break Fun: Wonder World Park

“If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the earth before we ask them to save it."
-David Sobel, Beyond Ecophobia

A trip to Wonder World Park in San Marcos was a great opportunity for the children to explore caves, feed animals, balance in an anti-gravity house, and see the wonders of San Marcos in a birds-eye view!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Family Fun Night: Healthyland

The first Family Fun Night was quite a success at the PODER Learning Center! Instead of Candyland, the families played a healthy verison of Healthyland which changed all the pieces, settings, and cards into a fun way to educate about nutrition. Here are steps to create your own family fun night for a birthday party or a fun night just with family!  

STEP 1: Planning
Allen Woods Homes Service Coordinator, Maria, and Intern, Italia, wanted Family Fun Nights to be both educational and entertaining, therefore Healthyland was created. They had to decide how to appeal to families, what materials they would need, how many volunteers it would take to run it smoothly, and how they could keep everything under budget. Providing dinner for the families was a great incentive to have them stay and play the game. They scoped out local businesses for sponsorship. Cuevas Produce donated fruits for a fruit basket as the grand prize and the rest of the families got goodie bags filled with toys, household products, and information about nutrition for both parents and kids!
STEP 2: Creating
Creating a life-size game board is not an easy task! Mostly it took a lot of paper, a lot of tape, and a lot of patience! Game pieces were made to represent the 5 food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein) as well as the different "kingdoms" in Healthyland (Broccoli Forest, Yogurt Seas, Wheat Fields, Protein House, and Apple Orchards). We used construction paper for the game board and packaging paper to create the "kingdoms." Lastly, we used streamers for the finish line! All of the materials are found at the dollar store!
STEP 3: Playing
Families were their own teams and learned to work together to move ahead in the game. The cards either had a question or actions for the whole family to answer or act out (ex.Name 3 kinds of grains or karate chop fruits for 10 seconds). The cards also had one or two squares of the same color or a picture of a place they could move their pieces to on the board game. Rules were also created to make it fair and fun for everyone. Amongst a long week of homework and work, families enjoyed a break to be together and have fun (education was a bonus)!

"Having a place to go is a home.  Having someone to love is a family.  Having both is a blessing."--Donna Hedges

Monday, February 3, 2014

Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon 2014

The Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon is held every year to celebrate our volunteers and the impacts they have on our communities. The volunteers do their hours on their own free will and achieve 50 hours or more in a year. This year, the volunteers were treated to a lunch at Red Lobster and a certificate! The top volunteers of each site were awarded with their names engraved on a plaque. The volunteer of the year, Italia Moreno, was awarded a plaque and a special gift for her dedication in the success to our after-school programs.

Springtown Villa Volunteers:
- Lino Puente
- Deborah Morris
- Maria Elena Hernandez
- Ramona Galvez
- Cynthia Watts
- Shirlene Bishop
- Bobbi Riel
Top Volunteer Award for Springtown Villa: Bobbie Riel
Regardless of their age, these volunteers are active, from bringing flowers to residents to painting for fundraisers to participating in the Resident Council, to help make Springtown Villa feel like home!

C.M. Allen Homes Volunteers:
- Monserrate Fernandez
- Moserrate Madrazo
- Russell Krummell
- Maria Oliva Santibane 
Top Volunteer Award for C.M. Allen Homes: Monserrate Fernandez
Helping with bingos, gardening, and the after-school program keep these volunteers busy in helping the KAD Korner Store a successful community hub! 

Chapultepec Homes Volunteers:
- Shaun Contreras 
- Mari Contreras 
Top Volunteer Award for Chapultepec Homes: Shaun Contreras 
This power couple has help improved the Chapultepec After-School program and KAD After-School program with their dedication and service!

Allen Woods Homes Volunteers:
-Carlos Lujan
- Italia Moreno
- Pablo Gomez
- Christi Leal
- Susan Tilatitsky
- Lola Bell
- Brigitte Bell 
Top Volunteer Award for Allen Woods Homes: Pablo Gomez 
However little the task may seem, such as gardening, helping with neighborhood gatherings, or the after-school program, these volunteers have made big impacts on the PODER Learning Center!