School Partnership Projects Team (Formerly Caring for Children)

Holiday Shop at King Elementary

Winter is here with rain (snow?), wind, and the Holiday Shop at King! Over 90% of King families live at or near the poverty level, and struggle with the basics, such as food and shelter. King has a program to help families with holiday gifts for their children; UUCV assists by donating clothing (hooded jackets sizes 4-10, tops and bottoms toddlers-16/18) and toys ($10-20,) and by helping to staff the event. Holiday Shop is on Saturday, Dec. 9th; our collection in the UUCV foyer runs until Dec. 4th, when we deliver our donations. You can also volunteer for setup on Dec. 8th, and to help parents "shop" on Dec. 9th (contact information to volunteer with our team is below).Thanks so much for supporting our neighborhood school!


2017-18 School Supply Drive for King Elementary:  August 1 - 27, 2017

Once again we supplied 60 filled backpacks, 10 per grade level, for distribution at Back to School Night.  Families and students were very appreciative of our contributions.


This Year at King

King has begun a busy calendar with many family and student activities.  Stay tuned to how you can be involved. Here are some events and opportunities underway or coming up:

Lunch Buddies
Holiday Shop
MLK Celebration
Muffins with Moms and Donuts with Dads set-ups
Lunch-time Activities (Chess and Knitting)
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.

SchoolBusThe 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 fourth 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 each year in support of the mission are:

1) Collecting school supplies.
Using donations from congregants and friends, we stock and deliver backpacks to King Elementary, plus additional school supplies that can be used later in the year. The backpacks are loaded with supplies requested by teachers, according to grade level.backpacks betty

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 help ensure a happy holiday for about 100 families and many children. Our congregants and friends contribute gifts and many hours of staffing for the event.

4) We staff a weekly lunch-time activities program, providing a time for students to play chess or learn to knit. In addition to enjoying the activity, students thrive on focused adult attention. 

5) Helping on a smaller scale with school events including the popular social gatherings Muffins with Moms and Donuts with Dads.

backpacks phadraPlanning for upcoming year:

Our plan for the 2017-18 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 also alert congregants to opportunities to establish a volunteer relationship with Ft. Vancouver High School, another neighborhood school.