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March, 2021
Change the future. Invest in our kids.
Latest News

What About Summer?

The Governor’s Office has announced new guidance and new money (yes $$) for summer programs! Both Day Camps and Overnight Camps will be able to operate during the summer. Guidance is currently in draft form but is expected to be finalized in April. Her office has stated that “The Governor’s Office will work with the Oregon Health Authority to set partner engagement sessions over the next few weeks to weigh in on guidance before release.” In addition, funding is being proposed; however, details are not yet available on the application process for funds and limitations on how long programs will have to spend it.  

We're Here For You!

WCK works hard to ensure all children have the best chance possible to reach their greatest potential. Families are struggling to address multiple challenges that have surfaced as the result of the pandemic. To support these needs we have developed two free programs designed to help parents and guardians. They were highlighted in a recent article in Pamplin Media’s Forest Grove News Times.

Our Parent Speaker Series features five exciting virtual sessions focusing on tips and tools for parents and guardians. Sign up for one or all of them. (Thanks to Safeway and Albertsons for door prizes!)

  • 3/30: How to Support Anxious or Depressed Kids: What Therapists Want You to Know
  • 4/6: Simple STEM Activities to do at Home
  • 4/13: Positive Discussions when Dealing with Differences: Taking A Closer Look at Identity Factors That Impact Kids & the Family
  • 4/20: How to help kids with homework (without doing it yourself)
  • 4/27: Balancing Work, Life, and All the Rest

Our Summer Program Expo will be held on April 14th from 7-8 pm. with information about child care and day camp programs. 

WCK also supports providers of out-of-school-time (OST) programs by facilitating networking and offering educational opportunities.

WCK understands that for children to thrive they need emotional, social, and academic support outside of school. We advocate for increased access to OST programs by working with elected representatives and networking with multiple organizations. 

We want to hear from you! Please reach out: katie@washingtoncountykids.org.

Mark Your Calendar

Parent Speaker Series (FREE):
Thanks to our partners at Sequoia Mental Health Services and teachers Helene Cuomo and Christina Matousek, this series includes 5 virtual presentations designed to provide useful information, tips, and tools for parents and guardians.Tuesdays, 6-7 pm, March 30-April 27. Door prize awarded each night (thanks, Safeway & Albertsons!)

Register for session 1 (Tue, 3/30)

Summer Program Expo (FREE):
A free opportunity for parents/guardians to connect with summer program providers. Wednesday, April 14, 7-8 pm. Register here. Door prizes awarded, thanks to OEA-Retired Literacy Project.

Board and Steering Committee meeting:
4/19 @ 6:30 pm
Check website for details

WCK Annual Reach for the Stars Gala!

Contact us about becoming an event sponsor or donating to our silent auction.

Parenting support, learning, and connection opportunity

Classes available for free in Russian, Vietnamese, and Spanish. Contact sarab@irco.org for info.

Support WCK
Visit our shop and show your support with one of our branded products!

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 #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.

Benevity: Give through your company!
In The Spotlight
Provider Spotlight: STAGES Performing Arts Youth Academy
By Michael Coiner

For this month’s newsletter, we spoke with Cindy Wilkins or, as her students call her, “Mama Wilkins” at STAGES Performing Arts Youth Academy. Cindy shared all the amazing and wonderful things her organization does and how vital it is for the Hillsboro area.

STAGES offers a myriad of programs for people ages 6-22. These include countless classes and workshops to help young actors hone their craft. They also offer “Stage Troupers” which tours children throughout the Portland area to perform a selected one-act musical. Another point of pride is the "I'm a Star" program for children with intellectual disabilities. STAGES also offers art, yoga classes, and so much more! 

Sadly, these programs are on pause until the pandemic eases, but classes in other formats are available now. After securing two grants to purchase equipment, photography classes were offered to students.  They became so popular, parents wanted to take them, too! While these experiences have been enjoyable, “Mama Wilkins” and her kids look forward to the day they can share space together again. The energy and mood during a live performance is unlike anything one can experience online. Recently, a generous donor provided them with a large canopy, and she hopes to offer outdoor classes and performances soon. She would also like to offer a public speaking workshop for youth to develop their voice in conversation. This opportunity, along with performing in front of audiences, provides them with valuable speaking experience that will carry through into adulthood.

A child who works with STAGES is part of the family for life. Cindy has many beautiful stories of watching her former students, as adults, performing for audiences in professional theatre companies. These children not only learn vital creative skills, but they are given a second home where they can feel safe to express themselves.

Cindy is very grateful for all the grants and donations her organization has received. Without that support, Hillsboro wouldn’t have this incredible resource for children interested in the performing arts. Before opening STAGES, Cindy was a teacher, then worked as a social worker for an international adoption agency. This only showed her how vital and necessary after-school programs are for children.

Cindy works with Washington County Kids because she sees how important it is to secure a steady source of funding for programs like hers. Without the funding she has been gifted, many children would be denied an opportunity to learn and try new things after school. She is proud to say that all children, no matter their financial need, have a chance to play at STAGES. The funding she has been fortunate to receive has provided her with that assurance. She would like all programs in the area to have the same peace of mind.

For more information about STAGES, please visit their website.

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.
Newsletter Editor: Shari Getz
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