October 1, 2009

Volunteers save the day for NE school

Category: Schools — admin @ 5:47 pm

Good ideas are great.  Volunteers making sure that good ideas actually HAPPEN (even if there’s no funding) are even better.

At the Jason Lee K-8 school, about 80% of the kids are on free and reduced lunch.  They get done with school in the early afternoon and need something constructive to fill the time before mom and dad get home.

Josh Springer had the brilliant idea to start a SUN-school community center . . . but the money wasn’t available.  So, as a new addition to the Jason Lee team he focused on what they COULD do.  And his idea was a simple tutor club.  Kids meet after school for help with their homework, and, at the same time, get some one-on-one time with positive older role models.

In a perfect world, there would be cash to pay a staff to work with these kids.  But we don’t live in a perfect world.

Or do we?

Springer says volunteers (a mix of local high school kids and community members) have been POURING in to help with the program.  Springer says he hopes that the successful program will help kids already slipping behind in this young school year, catch up and stay with their classes.

They have more space available so if you’re interested contact Springer here.

August 13, 2009


Category: Schools — admin @ 3:19 pm

As countless music programs are cut from local schools, one local man is trying to fill the gaps.
As a child, Charles Lewis relied on the consistency of music classes as he moved from school to school with his mother and several siblings.  Now, seeing those classes disappearing, he wants to make sure this generation doesn’t miss out.
So he started Ethos, it’s a non profit music center offering free classes, workshops and instrument rentals for kids in need.  For more info, go here.

August 10, 2009

Boys and Girls Clubs stepping up to fill in for No Child Left Behind

Category: Schools — admin @ 7:26 pm

You may have heard the bummer news that several Portland schools are struggling to hit the No Child Left Behind mark.  Well, no need to worry . . . the Portland Boys and Girls clubs are doing their part to get kids back up to speed.

A few years ago, they realized that about 1 in 5 kids suffer from dyslexia.  Wanting to help, staff developed a special literacy program to work with those kids.  The results?  Immediate success.  Kids who were 2 or 3 grades behind were caught up or exceeding their classmates.

The technique is multi-sensory.  They say the letters and words out loud, write them with big scripted letters using their entire arm.  And it works.

But it ALSO works for ALL kids.  Yeah, when they tested the system with kids who were struggling but NOT due to dyslexia, they saw the same improvement.

So now the program is going into all the Boys and Girls Clubs in PDX and is open to any families that want the extra help.  For the club near you, go here.

April 20, 2009


Category: Schools — admin @ 1:00 am

The question is, where do the students of English 342 go from here?  The WSU Vancouver class of amateur filmmakers were each required to complete a film for the elective Documentary Film Theory and Production Class.  Their instructor, Pavithra Narayanan, wanted to get her students some extra exposure so, for fun, she submitted them to the Kenworthy Film Festival in Idaho a few weeks ago.

 English 342 swept the place. 

Every category including Best Film, Most original, Most Beautiful and Funniest.  Not bad considering that, for most of the kids, it’s their first attempt at filmmaking. 

February 23, 2009

The Pearl is growing up!

Category: Schools — admin @ 9:15 am


This could be the spot of the first Pearl District public school

This could be the spot of the first Pearl District public school

Like a child growing before our eyes, plans are now in place for the Pearl District’s first day of elementary school.

It seems like just yesterday the first condo tower’s doors opened and only moments later, the streetcar began to run past the hip eateries and trendy art galleries.

Now, as all those young, hip couples grow into young, hip families, their young hip children need a place to learn within reasonable distance of their front doors.

The plan would open a satellite school at NW 13th and Raleigh, starting with only a few young grades in 2011.  Long term, the goal is to take some of the pressure off of Chapman Elementary (about a mile from the heart of the Pearl) which is in danger of reaching critical mass in a few years.  Read more here.

February 13, 2009

Sherwood quartet hand cash back to schools

Category: Schools — admin @ 9:41 am

Four execs in the Sherwood School District, including the superintendent, are offering to forgo salary bumps this year.  The salary freeze will save the $24,000 this year.