DECEMBER 2023

Let’s Go!  Larry Crepeaux, Executive Director

As 2023 winds down, 2024 ramps up!

But first an enormous thank you to the amazing volunteers, including the Board of Directors, and donors who have helped Washington County Kids keep moving forward.  After only ten months in this position, I recognize how short my time is so far in the complete history of WCK, but I look forward to the next year with everything we’re planning.

What plans?  I’m glad you asked…let’s go!

KIDS | Our annual Afterschool is Cool! poster contest has begun!
Ask your afterschool provider for contest rules and entry forms, or better yet ask them to make this an afterschool activity ASAP!  This is your chance to creatively share what you like best about your afterschool program.  Open to all kindergarten through 12th-grade students participating in an afterschool program in Washington County.  Winning posters in two school categories, K + Elementary & Middle + High, will receive gift card prizes plus their artwork and the provider organization will be featured on Tri-Met buses and benches!

PARENTS | Our first-ever survey of afterschool parents is live!
Washington County Parents, we need your help gathering data about afterschool participation.  The survey responses will help strengthen our mission to increase funding and support for out-of-school-time programs that enable success for children and youth in Washington County.  The survey should take approximately 2 minutes to finish.

PROVIDERS | Join the conversations as we Focus on you!
Afterschool or summer providers, please consider joining any (or all) of our monthly Focus on Providers events!  These informal one-hour Zoom discussions about what Providers are facing and accomplishing in our county including networking, resource sharing, and community development opportunities.
Hosted by Larry Crepeaux, Executive Director, WCK

We encourage your participation above where appropriate and watch for more info coming soon about other efforts such as the Countywide afterschool needs assessment project, website upgrade, and of course training options for providers and parents.

Please enjoy the rest of our newsletter which includes opportunities and resources for the entire Washington County community.

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT | More trees around schools
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT | Upcoming election volunteer and paid opportunities
PARENTS | Resources & Connections

HELP! | Please consider a year-end gift to help us fulfill our mission.
We use every resource and donation to its full value but quite frankly, we are desperately in need of a website upgrade to include a more robust provider directory.  Our online connection is key to our mission to serve kids, parents, and providers across this big, beautiful county.

Thank you and Happy New Year!

Larry Crepeaux
Executive Director
larry@washingtoncountykids.org

KATIE’S KORNER:  Katie Riley, President

December is not only a time of celebration;  it is also a time to look back and look forward—and that involves gratitude.

I am particularly grateful at this time for our new Executive Director, Larry Crepeaux, who has joined our effort with full enthusiasm and dedication to working with providers and all of our activities to advance non-school care for kids throughout the county.  I am also grateful to our board and other volunteers for giving their time, energy, and knowledge to making our work happen:  Maureen Barnhart, Vinnie Blanco, Claire Morgan, Narce Rodriguez, and Yasmin Rubalcava provide countless hours of input and thoughtful planning.  We also couldn’t function without Adam Sievers and Rachel Su who make sure our messages are clear and timely on social media and our website.  Kathy Parent provides accounting expertise that keeps us on track financially.  We also greatly appreciate our gala key volunteers, Sky Troy and Lexie Weaver.

I am also grateful to our donors and grant funders, particularly the Collins Foundation, Marie Lamfrom Foundation, and the Spirit Mountain Community Fund.  And I am grateful for the parents and kids who participate in non-school programs.  We enjoy having kids participate in our poster contest and all the activities their afterschool programs provide – growing in knowledge and social skills, experiencing differences and enjoying them, plunging into new creative activities, and having good times with old and new friends.  Afterschool and summer program providers make those activities happen.  We are working every day to help more families be able to have their kids participate in these helpful programs.

For the future, we have a project to collect information from provider program families about the characteristics of kids who participate.  Parents of kids who participate in each program will be asked to fill out a brief online survey form that we anticipate will take less than two minutes of their time to check off their child’s demographic characteristics anonymously.  This information will be compiled and used for us to inform grant funders and elected and county representatives about who is being served.  Currently, no one can say how many afterschool or summer programs exist in the county or how many kids they serve.  We hope to fill that gap.  We are also advocating for the county to conduct a needs analysis of kids who are not being served during non-school time.  We believe that this is a far larger group but only a good analysis will give us more information.

We are very grateful for your past support! And we hope you will participate in and support these efforts.  If you would like to work with us on these projects, please get in touch with me (katie@washingtoncountykids.org) or Larry (larry@washingtoncountykids.org).

We are grateful to you!!  Happy Holidays to you and your family!

Katie
Board President & Founder
katie@washingtoncountykids.org

PROVIDERS:  Resources & Connections

Afterschool & Summer Providers!
Please join Executive Director, Larry Crepeaux, for any or all of our monthly Focus on Provider conversations. 

Register here for Focus on Provider Events
Dec 22, 2023
2024:  Jan 26, 
Feb 23, Mar 22, May 31, Jun 28, Jul 26, Aug 30, Sep 27, Nov 22, Dec 20

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT:  More trees please!

Treekeepers Seeking Volunteers
Treekeepers
is partnering with other organizations including Depave, Friends of Trees, and the Urban Conservation Program of the Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District to obtain grants for a “Cool Schools” pilot program here in Washington County. Our role in this project is to help identify potential school sites in Washington County that are most in need of trees.

Adequate tree cover is an equity issue.
Low-income neighborhoods and disenfranchised communities often lack tree cover, a legacy of discriminatory government policy, and bank redlining on neighborhoods. Making sure these areas get trees will help overcome social and environmental injustices through urban regreening.

Bringing green canopy to schoolyards.
Depave has been bringing cooling shade to public areas in the Portland Metro area for twenty years. Once Treekeepers have identified the best sites in need of tree canopy, they need to get buy-in from the local community, school principal, maintenance workers, and others to get them excited about the project. Depave can take it from there to get all the required permits, hire landscape designers, organize volunteers for implementing schoolyard depaving (if required), tree planting, and follow-up maintenance.

A way for you to help.
The hardest and most time-consuming work is finding school sites and working with local partners to conduct meetings to work out the issues and obstacles. Without enough volunteers, Treekeepers will lose grant opportunities available to create green schoolyards. If you are interested in volunteering, call Josie at 503-866-3346 or email her at josephine.koehne@gmail.com.

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT:  Civic engagement for youth!

Youth Civic Engagement Summit – Friday, January 19th

You are invited to attend the Youth Civic Engagement Summit on Friday, January 19th between 10:00am and 3:00pm at the State Library of Oregon in Salem or online to learn how you can empower youth to support democracy in their communities!

Join the event for in-person and virtual opportunities to:
>Attend youth-led workshops on topics such as: Protest and Event Safety, Fighting Misinformation/Disinformation, Capacity Building and Longevity, and Community Building
>Gain insight into forms of youth activism and how the League can support our younger members
>Engage in dialogue with community members of all ages who are passionate about social change
>Develop practical skills for promoting effective civic participation

Interested in sharing this event with schools and youth in your community? See our printable promotional flyer!

Space for in-person attendance is limited to the first 40 individuals. Due to capacity limits, youth and their chaperones will receive priority in-person registration. If you have any questions please contact us at youtheventschair@lwvor.org.

Student Mock Election Opportunity
by League of Women Voters of Oregon

Parents:  We hope you can share this civics education opportunity with the public, private, charter, and home-school educators of your children to encourage new and future voters to feel confident about making well-informed decisions when casting their ballot.  We invite families and their educators to enroll students in the League of Women Voters of Oregon Student Mock Election (OSME).  The League is a trusted, non-partisan voice in developing materials educators can use to teach students about the voting process.  All of us know how important civics education is in preparing our students to become engaged citizens.  Through participation in OSME, students recognize the real-world relevance of civics education and are encouraged to become lifelong voters.
  
The League of Women Voters of Oregon (LWVOR) has run Oregon Student Mock Elections for over two decades, winning five national awards and many friends, including our very own Oregon Department of Education.  As a nonpartisan organization, the League never supports or opposes any candidate or political party.

REGISTRATION IS FREE!
To participate in the May 2024 primary mock election, educators can register at  www.lwvor.org/mock-election.  Participating Oregon students will have the same opportunity as registered Oregon Primary Election voters to cast May primary votes for nonpartisan, statewide offices and ballot measures.  LWVOR will create mock ballots, forms for registering classes and reporting results, and curricular support materials. In response to teacher requests, LWVOR may be able to create customized ballots, including a local (county or city) ballot option.
Educators have year-round access to up-to-date LWVOR Civics Education curriculum materials, including two new lesson plans that are specific to the Oregon Primary Election. Schools and educators can choose their voting day between May 5th  and 10th.  Results will be released to the public on May 17, 2024.

To learn more, or dive into the award-winning curriculum and other civic resources available year-round, visit the League of Women Voters of Oregon website, www.lwvor.org/civics.

Thank you for teaching new and future Oregonian voters how to participate in their democracy!

The Oregon Student Mock Election Team
mockelection@lwvor.org

Temporary Employment Opportunity

The Washington County Elections Office is looking for temporary workers for the May and November 2024 elections.  This is a great opportunity for students as young as 16 and others to be employed in the election process.  Check out their website for further details.

PARENTS:  Resources & Connections

Youth 18+ Paid Pre-apprenticeship Program
Apply now for the Portland Opportunities Industrial Center’s (POIC) paid Pre-Apprenticeship program starting January 22nd for people aged 18-24. Get paid for 12 weeks while you learn and get prepared to start an apprenticeship in a trade you are passionate about. Read about the program and apply at https://www.portlandoic.org/construction and reach out to Program Coordinator Calvin with questions at calvin.hardy@portlandoic.org.
Parent Supports
Need support paying for child care? Check out how to qualify for programs here.
Dad’s groups
Dads of young children have groups to share their experiences.
Parenting classes:  Great classes are available for parents and caregivers of kids 10-14.
Health Coverage
Are you losing Oregon Health Plan coverage or need to update your eligibility?  Check out this information.
Your Kid and Substance Abuse
Do you think (or know) that your child is using substances that they shouldn’t be using?  A new article,  ‘Stepping in When your Child is Using Substances,” has some useful tips for parents and other caregivers to assess the situation and engage in helpful conversation to deter further use.  The Partnership to End Addiction has a step-by-step approach to answer questions and help you take action.  The article and other useful information are included in the
Resource section of our website.
Two new Resources for Parents/Guardians
We have added two new resources to the Washington County Kids website
Resource section for parents and guardians.  In the mental health section, an article from Harvard Graduate School of Education describes how parents can educate their teens about preventing negative thinking when they are on social media.  Another link in the substance use area, provides great information from Washington County on Opiods and Overdose Prevention.  In addition, there are lots of other helpful resources on our website!

!THANK YOU



Donations can be made here or by mailing here:  250 NE Hillwood Drive, Hillsboro, Oregon  97124

Find Out-of-School-Time Programs – Washington County Kids