Portland Children's Levy Newsletter January 2017

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In the News

City of Portland Fix-it Fairs are here! The 2017 fairs are scheduled for the following Saturdays: Jan. 28th at George Middle School; and Feb. 25th at Madison High School. New this year: workshops presented in Spanish at every fair. The fairs are a free event where people can learn simple ways to save money and connect with community resources. The PCL has several tables at the fairs: if your organization is interested in attending any or all of the fairs to spread the word about your services, 

 Lend your voice to hunger discussion:  Please join the Multnomah County Child Hunger Coalition for an education session to hear about policies being considered by community partners in the 2017 Oregon State Legislative Session.
The Child Hunger Coalition recognizes economic instability, lack of affordable housing and racism are key reasons food insecurity persists in Oregon. Attend this education session to hear about how you can make a difference in these critical policy arenas. In addition, this is an opportunity to learn about connecting your organization and the families you work with to advocacy opportunities and decision-makers.

Date: Thursday, January 12th
Time: 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Location: Tabor Space
 
Playworks Training for Providers: Playworks can help providers working with children integrate safe, healthy and inclusive student play into existing school activities through a series of thorough and interactive workshops that highlight constructive tools and methods. The trainings are designed for before-, after- and out-of-school program staff.  Go here for more info.

YMCA Social Change Trainings: The YWCA offers high-quality and engaging social change trainings. All of the info can be found here.

Meals 4 Kids Needs Volunteers: Meals 4 Kids, a PCL-funded program through Meals on Wheels People that delivers meals to children and their caregivers throughout Portland, is looking for volunteer drivers. Interested? Contact Meals 4 Kids

PCL Helps Nonprofits Recruit Volunteers: It's never too late to be listed on our Volunteer Opportunities page, so if you are an org that accepts volunteers, please email us with: 

 A link: either to your website where volunteer information can be found, or the email and/or phone number of the name of the person responsible for volunteers.
A short blurb about what you are looking for from volunteers.
If you would like to include any specific wording about outreach to older and/or retired potential volunteers.

In the News

Friends of the Children
was featured in the Detroit Free Press as the first in a series of stories focused on efforts to improve children's lives. Read it here.

The Free Press spent a year talking to children across Detroit about their fears and wants; how they live and what issues they see as most important. Among key issues raised by parents and children: that improving life for the city's children is a community responsibility, that the quality of education has to improve, that children need to feel safe, that children need opportunities to thrive outside of school and learn skills to help them grown. Most of all, they need mentors.

Open School Step Up
enrolls its incoming 9th grade students in a week-long overnight Leadership Camp in August before school starts. Step Up staff believe camp is critical to the work it does in creating a culture that promotes both high school and personal success. This just-released video shows what this culture of success looks and hopefully feels like: take a look here.

The Oregon MESA program in Portland State University's
Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science helped Salem middle school students do better in math and science classes than their peers, a new report shows.

Researchers at Education Northwest found students who participated in the after-school MESA (Math, Engineering, Science Achievement) program consistently raised their grades above the district average, after starting out behind. They also outperformed a comparable group of students who were not in the program across almost all demographic groups. Low-income students who are eligible for the federal free lunch program made the biggest strides. Read the full report on the Oregon MESA website here.

The important role of social workers
during the next four years was highlighted in a recent article, as it explained that the need for compassion, inclusivity and empowerment for those who have been historically oppressed and discriminated against will be greater than ever. Read it here.

Making a Difference: Anita Vinson at Salvation Army West Women's and Children's Shelter

Longtime children's advocate Anita Vinson recently retired from the Salvation Army where she was a parent-child specialist at the West Women's and Children's Shelter.  Anita began her career as a public school teacher and decided she would rather work with families and children rather than curriculum. After obtaining her Master's in Education in Counseling focused on play therapy and family therapy, she worked as a school counselor and then moved to Portland to provide clinical supervision and family work with developmentally disabled parents and their children. She joined the Shelter in 1993, using play therapy with kids and their moms.  
"I loved the team approach with weekly supervision, and the variety of people and issues that I was able to address," she says. "The complexity of the families and the interface with multiple agencies was endlessly challenging. I was always learning new approaches and being faced with new situations. I will miss these families and being a part of a team that provides these services. It's exciting and stimulating and meaningful work, with an international agency that does good work on an even broader scale."  

Anita says she will continue with her private practice and addictions work. "Lessons learned: Don't give up, Believe there is a way, I just need to keep looking for it;  Strategic retreat is not failure. Failure is useful and gives me a chance to see what is not working."