AUGUST 2023 | Reach for the Stars…and doughnuts!

We are so thankful for our generous guests and donors, volunteers, Ruby Vineyard, and special speaker Heather Seely-Roberts.  It was a memorable night for all and the funds raised will help us work toward our goal to increase access to quality out-of-school time programs.

PROVIDER TRAINING:  De-escalating Negative Behavior

Did you know that we provide Out-of-School Time Provider Training?  In fact, attendees have received over 100 hours of career credits in just the last 15 months!

Please register early!
Friday, September 8, 2023 | 10 am to 12 pm
Subject: De-escalating Negative Behavior



Are you an afterschool or summer provider or administrator?

If yes, please consider joining our Focus on Providers monthly events!
The Focus on Providers events are one-hour Zoom meetings geared to facilitate conversation and discussions about what Providers are facing and accomplishing in our county.  These gatherings are informal and also include networking, resource sharing, and community development opportunities.
Did I mention they are free?
As the Executive Director for Washington County Kids, I am very excited to be hosting so I can learn about you, the organizations you work for, and how Washington County Kids can best support your efforts.  I hope you can join us for these productive sessions.  If there is someone else in your organization who may find this relevant, please share this information!

Larry Crepeaux
Executive Director

Register here for Focus on Provider Events
Sep 29, 2023 | 10am-11am
Oct 27, 2023 | 10am-11am
Nov 17, 2023 | 10am-11am
Dec 22, 2023 | 10am-11am

PROVIDER SPOTLIGHT:  Hillsboro Learning Center

Hillsboro Learning Center is a tutoring business which is located in the heart of historic downtown Hillsboro on the corner of 3rd and Washington. It was founded in 1998 by two Hillsboro School District teachers, who took their passion for teaching and genuine interest in helping students and families learn and thrive on the west side of Portland! This initial vision continues under the ownership of Sherri Meshke, who purchased the business in August 2019, shortly before the pandemic. Through patience, dedication, past entrepreneurial experience, and hard work, the company has not only survived but is growing to provide academic enrichment and support for the students in our community.

They specialize in tutoring students from K – 12+ in all subject areas, including beginning reading, writing, and arithmetic all the way through advanced high school mathematics, language arts, science, and Spanish. Hillsboro Learning Center’s founders captured the goals of this unique downtown business with the following words, “Tutoring – it works!” They know their tutors and students have carried on a legacy when their students come in for their next session, proudly boasting that they aced the test!!

Their tutors don’t apply a “one-size-fits-all” approach to teaching. Instead, their experienced tutors set goals and create individual learning plans for each 1:1 tutoring session, to help build confidence and fulfill the unique needs of each student and family who seek academic supplements and homework support at Hillsboro Learning Center. Their purpose is to set students up with the guidance and learning support needed to enable them to strengthen their academic foundations so they can find the confidence needed to thrive and excel in school and in life!

They recently started leasing the suite next door to the original site, and are expanding choices of services to connect with the homeschool community. With the new expanded space, they are now able to offer small group specialty learning sessions for all Executive Functioning Skills including Study Skills, Organization, and Test Prep. Enrichment classes are also being developed for Social Emotional Learning (SEL), Life Skills, STEAM/STEM sessions, and Art/Crafts.

An additional focus of the new space will be to support the homeschool community in WA County, by providing a location for homeschooling parents to connect and collaborate with other parents and community groups. The space will also be used for small group enrichment classes during the typical school hours and out-of-school time; Kid’s Night Out events; weekend hikes and hands-on outdoor experiences coordinated by Erica Vitko with Pacific NW Community KIDS; and many other fun learning opportunities. The sky is the limit with what can transpire when everyone comes together to build a community network and plan!

In addition to focusing on academic support for students through tutoring and enrichment classes, they have recently begun collaborating with Kristina Heagh-Avritt, the owner of Vibrant Family Education. With 27+ years of classroom experience, she provides a wealth of knowledge and an avenue to support and connect with parents in the community who want to take a more active role in their child’s educational journey. She offers weekly evening Q & A sessions on any academic topic that a parent may have questions or concerns about. You can also listen to her podcast, “Bringing Education Home”, for more inspiration!

To find out more details about what the staff at Hillsboro Learning Center can provide for your children, family, or group, or about the myriad of programs they offer, contact them through the intake form on their website at or send a text message to 253-298-9236.

KATIE’S KORNER:  Parental Support

WCK President, Katie Riley

Recently a parent told us how grateful she was to find information about a provider in the last issue of our newsletter and as a result she was able to secure summer care for her child.  This is why we exist—We want to increase opportunities for kids and families to have care for their kids after school and during the summer.  When that magic happens, we are energized to work even harder because we know how very difficult it is for working parents to obtain that important care.

I’ve been in that situation myself, desperately trying as a single mom to find care for my two sons while I worked full time and also wanting them to have a good growth experience.  It is so important for kids to have quality care that inspires them and guides them to be better people.  That is why we also work with providers to help them provide the best care possible.

Parents are confronted with expectations to have all adults in the family working in order to house, feed, and clothe their family.  Many families need to have adults work more than one job.  In addition, they have their children in an educational system that was set up to accommodate agrarian families – families that worked on farms and their children worked alongside them in the fields or the kitchen when they weren’t in class.  If school ended at 2:30 or earlier, someone was home.  That is not the case now.  If parents are lucky enough to find a caregiver, they pay.  Many can’t afford it.  Some parents who can afford it pay for private education because it comes with before and after-school care.  Those parents also scramble during the summer to put together care in different camp and daycare settings and often rely on grandparents or carpooling for transportation that is required because hours of attendance do not match their work schedules.  One parent figured that they spent $30,000 a year for the care of one child.  And that is not a high-end cost.

And what of the kids whose parents cannot find a placement before and after school and during the summer?  What are they doing?  Some programs provide placements for economically challenged families.  Then there are the working poor who cannot afford even the lowest cost program.  What are those kids doing?  Are they at home alone, watching TV, playing games, experimenting with negative experiences? Are they reading? Visiting friends who are unsupervised?  Roaming streets?

We want all kids to have the opportunity to experience supervised opportunities for interaction with peers and challenges for new learning, where they can take risks to learn a new skill, speak up without fear of being bullied, be creative in solving a problem, be respected as someone with thoughts and ideas worth listening to.  We believe that can be accomplished in quality after-school and summer care programs.  We just need to find a way to be able to finance that dream.


A Summer of Growth and Transformation: My Internship Experience as a Marketing & Events Coordinator at Washington County Kids

Throughout the duration of the summer, I embarked on a transformative journey of professional and personal development. For this journey, I undertook a ten-week internship as a Marketing & Event Coordinator at Washington County Kids (WCK). The experience I gained over this period was not only essential in enhancing my educational journey but also in providing me with invaluable insights into the workings of the nonprofit sector. Collaborating closely with the amazing Executive Director, Larry Crepeaux, and under the guidance of President Katie Riley, I have been privileged to contribute meaningfully to WCK’s endeavors.

In the course of my internship, I acquired a wealth of knowledge pertaining to non-profit management and fundraising, followed by active involvement in a strategic organizational rebranding effort. My responsibilities were diverse and engaging, which involved the daily management of social media platforms, crafting insightful blog content, and collaborating with fellow board members to organize the annual “Reach for the Stars” gala fundraiser. Reflecting upon my internship experience, I wish to extend my heartfelt gratitude to my mentor, Larry Crepeaux, whose guidance has been pivotal in my professional growth. Working closely with him has not only assisted me with hands-on marketing and business practice, but has also helped me develop understanding of non-profit administration from a seasoned professional.

As a senior at the University of Oregon, I recognize the importance of cultivating skills in interview techniques, analytics, and campaign execution to effectively engage diverse audiences and foster business expansion. Guided by the expertise of Larry and the collective wisdom of the WCK board, I have successfully completed these skills. In retrospect, the transformation I have undergone since the beginning of this internship is remarkable. Not only have I evolved as a student, but I have also blossomed into a non-profit professional, acquiring a collection of organizational and marketing skills that didn’t exist before.

Above all, my internship experience has had profound potential for transformative change. Collaborating with the dedicated WCK team, I have contributed towards driving meaningful change in Washington County, particularly in the lives of its children who are most in need. This summer journey with the WCK team has been a source of great gratitude, igniting my eagerness to partake in creating transformative changes in the lives of people ahead.

Sierra Bollander


Washington County Kids is giving you the best reason to indulge in a dozen (or two) Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Until September 23, 2023, 50% of your order will be donated back to Washington County Kids when you purchase via our fundraising sales page! Simply buy online, visit your local store & redeem using your code.

Treat yourself or even gift them to friends and family here: KRISPY KREME ORDER FORM


This fall, we will be restarting the Advisory Council with two specific goals:
> Review and evaluate progress made on the amazing 2023 Strategic Recommendations.
> Review current programs and budget allocations to propose updated recommendations for 2024 and beyond.


You made it to the end of the newsletter and I thank you for your outstanding interest in Washington County Kids.  May I ask you for some feedback?

>Do you have any questions about WCK or the term OST?  Please ask.
>Do you have any suggestions?  Please share.
>Would you like to get involved?  Please reach out.

If you are a part of our OST provider network and/or have been invited to submit a story or item of interest to Washington County families, teachers, or care providers, email your content before 5 pm on the 3rd Friday of the month (up to 400 words for stories, 75 words for events or other special requests; include cropped jpg or png image). Submission is not a guarantee of inclusion. Include name and email of person we can contact with questions.

Newsletter Editor: Larry Crepeaux