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Oak Ranch Helps Diffuse Kyle's Anger

May 31, 2010

By W. James Edminson

For 15-year-old Kyle, mornings at Oak Ranch in Broadway begin with a daily routine. He and the other boys who call Ewing House home rise, get dressed, and prepare their rooms for the day. They make their beds, pick up their things from the bedroom floors and vacuum. A quick cleaning of their bathrooms completes the upstair’s chores.

The smell of a good breakfast awaits as they come down the stairs into the living area. They are greeted by the call of “Good Morning!” from house mother Sonya Dalke.

“Ms. Dalke is a great cook,” Kyle says smiling. “Everything she does makes it feel like home to me.”

Bobby Dalke enters the room with his Bible and devotion book. While the boys circulate through the kitchen preparing their plates, Dalke takes his place at the dining table.

Mr. Dalke’s devotions are interesting,” Kyle says. “He ties in things about fishing and hunting.”

The Dalkes began as child care workers at Mills Home in Thomasville. After Baptist Children’s Homes became involved at Oak Ranch in 2007, the couple volunteered to be part of the first BCH child care team.

“The Dalkes care about all of us,” Kyle says, “and they care about our relationship with the Lord.”

Kyle came to Oak Ranch after his aunt and uncle determined that they needed help with their nephew – they were desperate.

“I didn’t realize I was getting into so much trouble,” Kyle says.

He recalls living with his mother and not noticing the bad things. It was a way of life – a life that began for him on the streets at age seven.

After moving in with his aunt and uncle, the bad things followed him. Anger, fights and a disregard for the rules placed the boy at risk. “I knew I shouldn’t be doing stuff, but I didn’t think I would hurt anybody.”

The freshman in high school adjusted well at Oak Ranch. Even though he struggles with his school work, he is applying himself. He works on containing his anger and has learned the importance of talking first and not losing control.

“I like to work,” he says. “I work hard to succeed and do my best. If I start getting mad, I get away and go play a sport like basketball.”

Kyle will be returning home soon. He realizes that the success he desires is not found on the streets; it comes from hard work.

“Oak Ranch has been good for me,” he says. “There is no telling how much trouble I would be in if I hadn’t come here.”