2016-17 School Supply Drive Successful!
Thanks to our members and friends, we were able to supply our partner school, King Elementary, with 60 "fully loaded" backpacks, 10 per grade level. With financial donations for this project, we were able to fill a few holes in the contents that were needed for the backpacks. Then, we helped hand out the backpacks to King students and their families at Back to School Night, August 30th. The school and community expressed their appreciation. Thanks to our many contributors! It matters.
This Year at King
King is gearing up for this school year, with a busy calendar and many family and student activities. Stay tuned to how you can be involved. Here are some events and opportunities coming up:
Muffins with Moms and Donuts with Dads set-ups
Lunch-time Activities (Chess and Knitting)
Pen pal Project
Helping with food pick-up and distribution
Mission and Structure
The mission of the School Partnership Projects team (formerly Caring for Children) is to engage congregants in supporting the health, education and social development of the children in our congregation and the local community.
We would love to have you on our team! For more information about the School Partnership Projects team please contact us via email at School Partnership Projects.
The team was created as a direct result of UUCV's Convergence work. "Opportunities to help children in our community" was a highly rated interest of Convergence participants. The team was formed on April 2, 2014, shortly after the Convergence work was completed, and is beginning its third year.
Many church members and friends have helped with projects and/or become Lunch Buddies.
What we focus on:
1) Because the church has had an existing relationship with Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School, located near the church, we built on that relationship, and expanded it to become a church partner to the school. The team meets monthly, and works to execute projects as requested by the school through our main contact, the Family and Community Resource Coordinator. Because a large percentage (around 90%) of the students at the school receive free or reduced-cost lunches, some of our projects focus on providing for basic needs such as school supplies. We try to understand what students at the school need to improve the likelihood of their achieving success.
2) We also work to meet some needs of children in our congregation, either directly or by connecting with others who may be of help.
3) We provide multiple significant and meaningful ways for congregants to become involved with children, from one-time assistance with an event or a project, to sustained contact with a child, such as becoming a "Lunch Buddy."
Projects completed in 2015-16 in support of the mission are:
1) Collecting school supplies.
Using donations from congregants and friends, we stocked and delivered 60 backpacks to King Elementary, plus additional school supplies that were used later in the year. The backpacks were loaded with supplies requested by teachers, according to grade level.
2) Recruiting "Lunch Buddies."
We publicized the value of this role as a way of mentoring, and recruited both Lunch Buddies and Playground Pals. For more information, see Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools.
3) Supporting the school's "Holiday Shop."
Along with other supporters, we helped ensure a happy holiday for 100 families and many children. Our congregants and friends contributed clothing, games, dollars and many hours of staffing for the event.
4) We began a weekly lunch-time activities program, providing a time for students to play chess or learn to knit.
5) Helping on a smaller scale with school events including the popular social gatherings Muffins with Moms and Donuts with Dads.
Planning for upcoming year:
Our plan for the 2016-17 year has been approved by UUCV's Social Action Steering Committee. The plan includes ways for congregants to work directly with children in a sustained manner, to volunteer one-time to help with projects, and to make donations in support of the projects. We are exploring a relationship with Ft. Vancouver High School, another neighborhood school near the church.