There are many incredible endeavors happening in support of local students. As part of the 2020 OnPoint Prize campaign, we are pleased to recognize five schools as Community Builder award recipients.
District: Portland Public Schools | Program / Event Name: Gardening and Cultural Cooking Project
Atkinson Elementary’s Gardening and Cultural Cooking Project will provide K-5th grade classes with two garden work parties per year in the school’s community garden. Activities will include weeding, raking, picking produce and harvesting vegetables for use in the school’s cafeteria. Each grade will also have a special one-hour cooking project that includes picking, cleaning, chopping and putting the dish together.
This project fosters community building through collective garden work and through making and eating food together. In addition to making dishes, the students learn what the food means and what the dish signifies from a native of the culture. Through this experiential learning children will have the opportunity to practice hand-eye coordination by working with kid-friendly chopping instruments. Gardening and cooking also helps develop creativity by stimulating the five senses, and scientific studies show that stress levels are reduced when people are in nature.
Clear Creek Middle School
District: Gresham-Barlow School District | Program / Event Name: The Tomorrow Bus
The Tomorrow Bus is a mobile STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) classroom that encourages K-8th grade students to create, collaborate and innovate using hands-on learning materials. The bus will visit every K-8th grade school in the Gresham-Barlow School District several times during the school year. At each visit, technology coaches will use curriculum kits to introduce students to STEAM concepts. The kits are created with curriculum that is grade-appropriate. The youngest students may be introduced to the concept of lift using a simple piece of paper and a wind tunnel. Older students may study aerodynamic concepts using paper airplanes that they create. The kits are inter-changeable so each visit introduces a new concept using hands-on, engaging materials. Each visit the Tomorrow Bus makes inspires students to work together, try, fail, try again, and learn in new ways. STEAM is best learned in a group, and the bus fosters community during classroom visits when the students learn and discover together.
Sandy High School
District: Oregon Trail School District | Program: Pioneer Digital Media Sports Broadcasting
Sandy High School’s Digital Media Career Technical Education department, along with Pioneer Digital Media Club, aims to offer live multi-camera broadcasts of sports, news and events from the Sandy High School campus. The Community Builder grant funds would directly provide accessibility for deaf and hard-of-hearing students and community members by providing closed captioning software for broadcasts. This aspect of the Pioneer Digital Media Broadcasting program will develop and graduate students ready to enter the workforce in creative digital media fields or move on to 2- and 4-year colleges to further advance their creative skills. The Sandy High School athletics and journalism departments would also have a greater continuous connection through the Sandy community through these broadcasts, providing those who are local, and those who have moved on to other areas, give them a chance to remain connected to their hometown.
District: Evergreen School District | Program: After School Club
The Sifton After School Club is a free program for families designed to provide extra academic support in math and reading, as well as opportunities for students to participate in enrichment activities such as organized sports, drama, cooking and art. The program’s mission is to help students make academic gains in an enthusiastic and engaging way, help families access extracurricular activities, and help students build meaningful relationships with peers and teachers at their school. This program currently runs for the whole school year and meets twice a week for an hour and a half. The first 45 minutes of the program is concentrated tutoring in either math or reading. The students are also provided a healthy snack at the beginning of the tutoring session. The second 45 minutes provides students the opportunity to choose an enrichment class to participate in, which changes every six weeks. Classes include basketball, Zumba, karate, yoga, soccer, art and cooking. This program respects the importance of sports and arts for students, and the facilitators understand there are many obstacles that prevent families from accessing these activities. Currently, 45 students are enrolled in the program and the school plans to expand the program to up to 65 in the coming year.