We are pleased to announce that Washington County Kids has hired an Executive Director! Michael (Mike) Weeks, J.D. will begin his new position in January. Below is an introduction to Mike. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally from Boise, Idaho, Mike has always had a connection to out-of-school programs. Going back to his high school senior project, Mike has been advocating for the need for out-of-school programs. After high school, he moved to the Portland Metro area. He graduated from Portland State University with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a minor in Film Studies. Mike then made the move to Phoenix and attended Arizona Summit Law School where he successfully earned his Juris Doctorate. Shortly after graduating, he returned to the place his heart and soul called home – Oregon.
While Mike doesn’t practice law, his passion to help people never ceased. From insurance to finance, Mike’s work experience has helped to hone his ability to tell other’s stories, producing win-win outcomes and fantastic results, while also training and mentoring colleagues and direct reports to be successful in their roles. Additionally, Mike has volunteered with Grant High School as a Mock Trial Coach where he helped teach a diverse group of students trial protocol and helped them feel prepared to compete at a high level. And as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Mike brings a deep appreciation for well-executed DEI initiatives and their ability to create positive impact. He is eager to contribute to beneficial systemic change and can’t wait for the day when every child has equitable access to quality out-of-school programs.
During his free time, Mike loves exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest with his partner, Julie, and their dogs, Asa and Jake. He also enjoys disc golf, photography, Dungeons and Dragons with friends, music, getting lost in a good book, films, and cooking.
Afterschool is Cool!
Don’t forget about our second annual “Afterschool is Cool” poster contest! The poster contest is open to all students in kindergarten through 12th grade who are participating in an afterschool program in Washington County. The purpose of the contest is to invite youth participating in these afterschool programs to creatively share what they like best about their afterschool program.
Registration forms and posters must be turned in to the participants’ afterschool program by Thursday, January 26, 2023, to be considered for judging. Judging will be based on the expression of the theme, What I like best about my afterschool program. Art work will be displayed during the Afterschool is Cool! showcase that will be held at the Shute Park Library in Hillsboro on February 7th from 6pm-8pm. Winners will be announced during the event at 7:30 pm. Winners will be considered in two categories, Elementary & Middle/High School and will receive gift card prizes. In addition, winning posters will be displayed on Tri-Met buses and bus benches!
At this time I want to thank all our hard working board members but also want to extend a special huge “thank you” to some key volunteers (not in any particular order):
Michael Coiner, eNewsletter editor
Rachel Su, Website Administrator
Kathy Parent, QuickBooks guru and Advisory Council facilitator
Debi Owen, Database manager and Advisory Council facilitator
Jane Glasser, Writer
Angela (Angie) Ross, Photographer
Adam Sievers, Social Media coordinator
Skye Troy, Silent Auction coordinator
Lexie Weaver, Computer whiz and technical consultant
Elizabeth (Ellie) Lucas, UofO intern
Mathew Hendison, OSU intern
We appreciate our Board, Steering Committee, and Advisory Council members—We are a working group!
Volunteer with WCK!
Interested in lending your skills to support our mission? We could use assistance in any of the following areas:
–Writer: Help us share stories about people, programs, and the need for out-of-school time programs
–Technical support for eventsEmail to discuss details.
Shop AND donate! Click HEREto sign up for AmazonSmile and select WCK as your preferred charity. They will donate to WCK at no cost to you.
Showcasing our Impact
Parent Speaker Series offered – 5 sessions
Parent Speaker Series attendees – 334
Providers served – 32
Provider coordination meetings – 3
Kids receiving summer scholarships through partnerships – 436
Trainings offered to provider staff – 2
Provider staff attending trainings – 32
Expo care fairs – 2
Registrants for Expo Care Fairs – 167
Volunteers – 53
Volunteer hours – 2,410
Poster Contest student participants – 30
Tabling events – 4
New listserv members – 117
Total listserv – 1,060
Washington County Kids continues to be the only advocate for combined out-of-school time (OST) programs (early childhood, afterschool, and summer) in the county. It has broadened the conversation with county elected officials by participating in conversations and preparing proposals on the need for sustainable funding for OST programs and has served as a liaison for afterschool and summer programs with the Washington County Early Learning Hub, the Juvenile Crime Prevention Advisory Committee, MESA, and the Substance Abuse Prevention Committee.
We also work to strengthen care for kids from parents and providers. Based upon needs voiced by parents and providers, we sponsored a series of five presentations in our Parent Speaker Series to help parents and guardians support their children. We collaborate with providers to help them offer the best quality of care. Three convenings were held for providers to empower them to discuss concerns and act together. Two trainings were held for provider staff to improve the quality of their care: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Fostering Self-Regulation in Children. Two Expo Care Fairs were held, one at the beginning of summer and one at the beginning of school in the fall to enable parents to meet providers virtually and find care. We also conducted tabling at the Hillsboro Farmers Market and at Centro Cultural’s El Grito celebration so parents and community members could learn about care and ask questions. To accommodate diversity in our community, informational materials were provided in English and Spanish and Spanish translation was provided for the speaker series and the Expos. We also provide searchable resources on our website for parents, providers, and community members. This service includes information about providers and webinars of past presentations and informational materials. Our eNewsletter is sent out to our listserv every month with tips, opportunities, and informational articles about providers and other interesting topics. We also submit articles to local newspapers to educate the community about the needs of children and benefits of OST programs so children can flourish.
This year we also partnered with one of our providers, Champions, to receive funding for summer care. As a result, summer care and learning experiences were provided for 436 school-age kids who would not otherwise have had those opportunities.
We consult with our providers, members of the community, and solicit feedback for all of our activities. This year we also formed a 10-member Advisory Council with diverse representation to give us input regarding our goals and activities to meet those goals. We are always open to participation in our monthly Steering Committee meetings and through other methods of communication.
Here is what people are saying:
*I appreciate getting the opportunity to share programing information with the community as well as being able to see what other programs are doing.
*Thank you WCK. Proud to partner. Impact, Care, Passion
Parents attending the speaker series:
*Thank you so much for hosting this series
*Excellent / Excelente
*Me gusto las ideas que dio para entender los sentimientos de los niños.
*How self regulation applies to everything, sports, school, not just emotions and anger
*The class was so informative and I feel it could go on for longer period
*Como ser empático con mi hijo cuando siento ese enojo y frustracion por su mal comportamiento.
*I learned how can support emotionally to my kid through differents stages of their development.
*I liked the depth of the information presented
*I learned a few tips to help my child.
*I am going to play and learn with my kids
*It was a well-spent hour, we learned a lot.
*All the information was very useful. I liked everything. I wish that these parent workshops keep continuing.
We appreciate YOU! During this past year you have lent your support to the kids of Washington County. Your interpersonal and financial contributions mean a lot. We continue to advocate on behalf of children and their families to increase access to quality out-of-school-time (OST) programs.
We know that kids who participate in these programs do better in school and, consequently in their careers and their lives. Unfortunately, many kids do not have the opportunity to participate in these programs and your help is needed in advocacy, volunteering, and financial support. If you can donate a little more in a donation during this end of year time, it would be greatly appreciated.
Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season!
On behalf of the Washington County Kids Board:
Katie Riley, President
Maureen Barnhart, Vice President
Claire Morgan, Secretary
Yasmin Ruvalcaba, Treasurer
Vincent Blanco, Member
Reiko Williams, Member
Do you have news you’d like us to share?
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.