How it all started – Washington County Kids

Katie I-heart WashCoKids
Katie Riley, current Chair

Washington County Kids (WCK) was formed out of a concern that children and youth in Washington County were not being served. How did it all start? In 2002 the Washington County Commission on Children and Families was asked by the State Commission on Children and Families to conduct a comprehensive community plan. The resulting activity involved 200
community members participating in countless hours of review of needs and possible solutions to problems. The group’s final summit identified their highest priority as the implementation of community schools where the neighborhood school becomes the hub of the community, providing services that support academic success.

Susan and Maureen hold up sign saying they love Washington County Kids
Susan Bender Phelps and Maureen Barnhart

In 2009, it had become apparent that the Commission did not have sufficient funds to address the Commission’s OST goals, so members of the task force decided to form a separate group outside the Commission structure. Key members included Katie Riley, Susan Bender Phelps, and Susan Stoltenberg.
Susan Bender Phelps agreed to be the convener. The group initially called themselves the “Children’s Opportunity Fund Initiative of Washington County” or COFI and held monthly Steering Committee meetings that were open to the public.   >>read the background document

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