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WCK News: February 2020

Latest News

Thank you to Pioneer Metal Finishing!

Thank you to the employees of Pioneer Metal Finishing in Tualatin! They voted to contribute their annual fundraiser to Washington County Kids and are also our newest endorser!  This international company provides metal finishes of all types. The Tualatin site of 45 employees researched WCK’s goals and decided to support us. We are very grateful and proud to have them support our efforts.

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Board Member Profile: Alex Diaz-Rios

Washington County Kids is proud to welcome our newest Board Member, Alex Diaz-Rios. He is a prime example of how after-school programs benefit and strengthen the community. Raised by a single mother with seven other siblings, Alex has broken barriers and continues to break down those barriers today. As a child, he had a thirst for knowledge, loved to read and was very inquisitive. In 4th grade, he entered an afterschool program called Campfire. Alex recalls how supportive the Campfire staff was in his early years and how the mentoring he received helped contribute to his success as a teacher. When Alex was 11 years old, he was awarded a Leadership award; and in high school, he volunteered in the after-school program at Lincoln St. Elementary School.

Alex currently teaches a 6th and 7th-grade language arts class at a middle school in SE Portland.  He reports that the school where he teaches has an afterschool program but it definitely needs more program resources, as do so many schools in the Metropolitan area. There are many occasions where his students will stay in his class even after school is over for the day because in some situations, his class provides a more supportive and safe environment than their own homes. 

Because he knows from first-hand experience the value that afterschool programs provide to children, Alex is a strong supporter of these programs. He states that they often provide children with the emotional and social support they need that sometimes isn’t available in the classroom. Afterschool programs provide a supportive community for children and help them build solid relationships outside of school. With the mental health issues our communities are facing, Alex feels that strong afterschool programs are crucial in enabling children to reach their full potential. 

Alex also sits on the Board of Directors for Portland Community College. He is working hard to break down socio-economic barriers every day. If you ever see him out in the community, feel free to say "Hello!" Thanks, Alex, for your efforts to make Washington County a great place to live!

By Briana Ellenberger

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New Affiliations Strengthens WCK's Support for Children of All Ages 

Recently Washington County Kids was asked to join Washington County’s Juvenile Crime Prevention Advisory Committee (JCPAC) and the Early Learning Washington County (ELWC) Hub Steering Committee. These two groups provide coordination and planning for their respective populations. The ELWC coordinates early learning providers with potential funding opportunities and encourages positive policies to promote early learning among the county’s youngest children. The JCPAC group advises the County Juvenile Department on policies and programs that are most likely to promote the best outcomes with state of the art interventions for juvenile offenders. Participating in these two committees offers an opportunity for Washington County Kids to provide insights to both groups regarding interface with out of school time providers and how we can work together for the benefit of all county children. 
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OST Providers Enjoy Quarterly Connection

Providers from several programs throughout the county participated in the third quarterly meeting on February 5th for OST (out of school time) Providers.  Two previous meetings were held in 2019. The meeting was changed to 12:30 – 1:30 and lunch was provided. These changes allowed providers the opportunity to minimize time away from their programs while offering the opportunity to connect with people in similar programs and exchange ideas. This meeting also featured a short workshop on digital security led by Shari Getz. Providers shared current activities and concerns and noted continuing challenges with the Beaverton School District as well as new opportunities in their own programs. A development showcase will be held at Intel to highlight Centro Cultural participants on February 29th. A scholarship for houseless youth in transition was recently donated to Homeplate by an anonymous donor (see related article). The next quarterly OST Providers meeting: Wednesday, May 6th. 12:15–1:30 pm.

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

What do the words “diversity,” “equity,” and “inclusion “ mean in terms of implementation in OST programs? WCK representatives participated in the County’s listening sessions on their draft DEI policy and how it might be implemented.  OST providers and their staff work with diverse populations. They also seek diverse staff and volunteers. WCK wishes to help facilitate the best interactions possible for kids in all settings. We are working on developing our own DEI policy and looking at possible trainings that would be useful for OST providers and their staff. More to come!

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OST Provider Spotlight: Homeplate Youth Services
Homeplate Opportunity Project (HPOP) is a Homeplate Youth Services program for youth who are interested in engaging in various training or educational programs that will lead to a living wage job and greater stability. These programs might be Pathways programs at PCC, Apprenticeships, or other job training programs. The goal is to support youth on the first leg of their education/employment goals and help them get to a more sustainable place to keep moving forward. Youth 12-24 can engage with HPOP for support around GED, FAFSA, information about schools and school programs, Life Skills and information on other job training programs, however, to access the scholarship they must be 18 years old. Contact HomePlate Opportunity Navigator Angel Gonzalez for information: angel@homeplateyouth.org

WCK Newsletter editor: Shari Getz

Ways To Support WCK

Amazon Smile: Select Washington County Kids and Amazon will donate a portion of your purchases to WCK!

Fred Meyer Rewards: 
Visit this website to link your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to WCK account number EG761. You receive the same rewards as usual and Fred Meyer makes a small donation to WCK.

BenefitDownload the app and select Washington County Kids as your chosen beneficiary. Share with friends and family! The more the merrier.
OST Provider Ask:

With the cuts to food stamps funding and increased need, HomePlate Youth Services is looking for donations of Costco gift cards to help them stock their Beaverton day space fridge and pantry. Call 971-322-9381 or Kirsten@homeplateyouth.org.
MESA Demo Day: 2/29

Come see the creative STEM solutions developed by middle and high school students at Centro's MESA Demo Day at Intel this Saturday, February 29th from 10 AM to 12 PM. Register here.
Saturday Academy Summer Camps!

Check out 230 ways to explore Science, Tech, Engineering, Math and the Arts this summer with Saturday Academy. Half-day classes and full-day camps are focused on hands-on learning for Grades 2 - 12 across the Portland-Metro area from Forest Grove to Gresham. Financial aid available.
www.saturdayacademy.org/catalog 
Watch for WCK's New & Improved Website

The WCK website will have a new look and feel, thanks to Kimberly Genly of Integrated Systemic Solutions. It will feature streamlined navigation and offer an improved user experience. Of course, links to providers will continue to be a key part of the site.
Save The Date: 8/6/20

Marke your calendars and support Washingon County Kids as we Reach for the Stars!
Have you seen our new videos?

Next Meeting: 2/23

Mon, March 23 @ 6:30pm
Shute Park Library, Hillsboro
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