YOU HAVE TO ASK:  Executive Director Larry Crepeaux

Are you or someone you know looking to positively impact children’s well-being?  Please reach out as we are searching for a few good souls to partner with existing WCK volunteers.  Together we can move our mission forward.

Admin Assistance | If you are organized and creative, help us get our info out and connect the community together!

Translation Services | We would love to offer training in Spanish but could use some ayuda!

Advisory Council | The Board will appoint ten appointees to the Advisory Council to help us get the word out about WCK and after-school/summer program needs.

Board of Directors | Looking to add three new board members by the end of 2024, especially for providers or administrators of after-school or summer programs.

Please reach out if you are interested.  

Larry Crepeaux
Executive Director

KATIE’S KORNER:  President Katie Riley

Our efforts continue…

In pursuit of grants
We are excited to announce receiving a grant from the Marie Lamfrom Foundation to help us pursue our mission.
Unfortunately,  two cooperative grant efforts with partner provider organizations and Prosperidad were given high ratings but did not get funded.  The experience did help inform our efforts for next year – onward!

In pursuit of other support
We have been talking with State Representatives about pursuing sustainable funding and working with other advocacy organizations (Our Children Oregon and Oregon ASK) to influence state legislation.  We are persistent!  If you are interested in working on these issues, let us know.

How do we know what we don’t know?  
Currently, there is no overall database in the county on after-school and summer programs.  We are working to change that as no one knows the demographics and needs of the kids who are served by these programs.  We have identified this missing data as a key factor keeping anyone from knowing how many kids are not being served in after-school or summer programs. Before the pandemic, we surveyed providers annually to find out how many kids they served in each age group.  In 2018 we estimated that 62% of elementary, 26% of middle schoolers, and 13% of high school students were being served in after-school programs and only 5% overall were being served in summer programs.  We are planning to replicate this survey but expand it to include demographic characteristics.  In addition, we are asking the County to do a needs analysis similar to the one recently conducted on early learning for them.

WCK Advisory Council
Last year WCK appointed 10 people to be members of our Advisory Council and asked them to help us get the word out about the need for after-school and summer programs.  At their initial meeting, they determined that more information was needed about what already exists and the website needed to include more information. Since that time, we have been contacting providers, updating the website, and preparing for our annual survey. The group will soon meet to review what has been accomplished and what more can be done.  If you have ideas for actions that would help them accomplish their goal, we want to hear from you. 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.

Katie Riley
Board President & Founder


After-school and summer providers!  Please join our Focus on Providers monthly events.

These informal, one-hour Zoom meetings include conversations such as:
> Challenges you are facing and how WCK can support such as informing subjects needed at our Provider Trainings.
> Celebrate your accomplishments as they build everyone up by spreading your knowledge and experiences.
> Communicate how Washington County Kids can best support your efforts and ways to help WCK continue to move forward.

Some ongoing conversations are:
> The need for ongoing behavioral training to support providers in the post-Covid era.
> Challenges for providers utilizing local school district facilities.
> The need for a demographic survey to properly communicate county-wide childcare needs.

We hope you can join these productive sessions.  If there is someone else in your organization who may find this relevant, please share this information!

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

PROVIDER SPOTLIGHT:  Good Neighbor Center

Good Neighbor Center is a family shelter located in Tigard, ten minutes from downtown. As an emergency placement shelter, GNC houses up to 9 families at a time for a 6-to-8-week period. Amongst other services, such as providing food security and hygiene products, as well as connecting families to housing stability programs and employment navigation resources, GNC operates a Children’s Program for children ages one through 18.

The Children’s Program offers regular and reliable open hours to the shelter residents providing a safe and nurturing environment for children so the parents can focus on navigating their next housing solution. The program includes morning preschool hours offered to children ages 1 to 4 years old, an afterschool program for kids ages 5 to 13, as well as school breaks and summer activities. Check-ins are held for youth ages 14 and older to see if they have any need for additional academic or social support.

The overall goal of the Children’s Program is to provide a trauma-aware and therapeutic environment that supports the children in shelter within their developmental age groups. The Preschool and Afterschool programs offer peer engagement and fun activities that are flexible and adaptable to each student’s interests. Over the last few months, the kids at GNC enrolled in the Children’s Program have helped to plant and maintain their community garden, care for the class pets: Karl with a ‘K’ the turtle, fish, and aquatic frog, field trips to the local library and nearby parks and walking trails, organized and run a lemonade stand, made slime and homemade ice cream, and come up with and carried out their desired art, science, and cooking projects. Following the kid’s lead on their interests while in the program has not only helped each child experience personal validation and encouragement but also provides opportunities for collective or individual recognition around core concepts regarding resilience, emotional awareness, self-care, and community responsibilities. Each moment these concepts are touched on and cultivated reinforces the overall hopes and goals GNC has for these kids’ future.

Another major component of GNC’s operations is the gratitude for and reliance on community support. Parents are often in need of additional services and connections to help their children experience continued success and not become too short-changed simply due to circumstances, conditions, or setbacks. Areas in which the Children’s Program helps facilitate those requests and needs include helping to connect parents with local affordable tutors, preschools, daycares, and after-school care providers, as a means for long-term solutions to employment hurdles.

We are looking forward to becoming more familiar with the Washington County Kids network of providers and the community outreach this organization provides!  Thank you!

Sadie Brown
Children’s Program Coordinator | Good Neighbor Center

PROVIDER SPOTLIGHT:  Centro Cultural Semana Binacional de Salud

Mark your calendars for October 7th! Centro Cultural, in collaboration with the Mexican Consulate of Portland, proudly presents the Semana Binacional de Salud (BHW) at Lincoln Street Elementary School. Join us from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for essential health services in Spanish, from check-ups to preventive care, mental health services, dental care, and much more. We’re passionate about ensuring our community has healthcare access. Stay tuned for more details and surprises ahead!

CELEBRATE:  Hispanic Heritage Month 
The timing of Hispanic Heritage Month coincides with the Independence Day celebrations of several Latin American nations. September 15 was chosen as the kickoff because it coincides with the Independence Day celebrations of five “Central American neighbors,” —Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Those five nations declared their independence from Spain on September 15, 1821.

In his proclamation, President Johnson also acknowledged Mexico, which declared its independence from Spain on September 16, 1810.  Chile also celebrates its independence during that week (September 18, 1810 from Spain) and Belize, which declared its independence from Great Britain on September 21, 1981, was subsequently added to the list of nations specifically celebrated during what is now Hispanic Heritage Month.


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