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Faces and Places:
Get Out! - Outdoors That Is!
By guest reporter Stephanie Redman, Executive Director,
Oregon Recreation and Park Association
For many generations, summertime for kids meant spending hours and hours outside - splashing at the local swimming hole, building tree forts, playing ball, riding bikes, attending day camps, chasing fireflies, and more. However, as kids' attention is increasingly captivated by apps and screens, that structured and unstructured outdoor time takes a hit.
Those "good old days" always seem rosy, but is it actually bad for kids to spend less time out-of-doors and in nature? Many professionals argue "yes." Author and journalist Richard Louv firmly believes that children are harmed when they cannot connect with nature and the great outdoors. He coined the term "nature deficit disorder" in his 2005 book entitled Lost Child in the Woods and uses it to describe a range of potential negative consequences of children's reduced outdoor time and physical contact with nature, including attention disorders, obesity, reduced creativity, and depression.
For parents and professionals who are interested in ensuring that children retain (or reestablish) a connection to the outdoors, answers are close at hand. Activities to get kids outside can be as simple as going into the backyard to count bugs, taking a walk in your municipal park, or counting stars in the night sky.
While kids sometime need a little prodding to head outside, the Oregon Recreation and Park Association "Outdoor Seekers" passport program offers a great incentive to get kids into nature. Perfect for families, camps, or childcare programs, Outdoor Seekers lends a fun framework for kids' play in the outdoors.
To find out more about the "Outdoor Seekers" program,and to read the rest of Stephanie's article, click here...
SAVE the DATE!
2013 Oregon Afterschool Conference
Health, Safety & Nutrition in Afterschool
November 8 & 9, 2013
Chemeketa Community College
4000 Lancaster Dr. NE
Salem, Oregon 97309
Oregon Afterschool for Kids and 350 educators, afterschool and summer learning leaders are gathering to inspire, connect and learn from each other.
The conference features panels, speakers, workshops, special events, and networking.
About the Oregon Afterschool Conference:
The conference includes a wide range of break-out sessions/workshops with practical tools and best practices for afterschool and summer programming including:
- Curriculum ideas - health, safety and nutrition, positive behaviors in youth, parent engagement, homework help, STEM, college and career readiness, and other topics.
- Leadership - building effective teams, promoting your program, innovative programming and leadership.
- Sustainability - public and private funding for afterschool and summer programs. grant writing.
- Evaluation & best practices - strategies to maximize quality and impact programs.
Help Us Get the Word Out!
Download the SAVE the DATE here.
Email this link or forward this newsletter to others you know who'd like to join afterschool program staff and directors from around the state to share best practices and innovations in afterschool and summer programming.
Look for registration opening on August 1, 2013!
June was a month of planning and the kick off of our Summer Library, Summer Learning and Summer Lunch
project. With funding provided by National Summer Learning Association and the Prince Henry Foundation,
fourteen libraries in Salem, Harrisburg, Woodburn, Eugene and Monmouth have been running for a few weeks - opening their doors to readers of all ages!
Studies have shown that access to books during the summer helps combat summer learning loss. Most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency and many lose more than two months of reading skills over the summer months.
In addition to library books, students are accessing free books through Bazillion Books for Kids
and the Salem-Keizer Education Foundation
, read-alouds, crafts and games.Click here
to learn more and to see a list of the libraries and the times they're open this summer!
Resources & Opportunities
Display Your Art in Japan!
The Sheridan Japanese School and the Prefectural People's Art and Culture Festival invite Oregon students (ages 15 and younger) to submit paintings to compete for a spot in the 2013 exhibit in Toyama, Japan!
Oregon has a had a long-standing sister-state relationship with Toyama, and this festival will help to share Oregon student's work with students in Japan. This is an exciting opportunity for students to share their creative perspectives with communities of Japan!
Entries must be:
- Paintings (acrylic, water color, ink - anything that is done with a brush!) created by children under 15.
- Size 15"x21" or 11"x17" (must be rectangular).
- Include the title of the piece, the artists name, age and gender on the back of the art work.
- Returned by August 1, 2013.
Summer Food and 2-1-1
Summer is finally here! Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon would like to remind you that you can enjoy nutritious summer meals at over 700 free summer food sites across Oregon. The Summer Food Service Program provides healthy, delicious breakfasts and lunches for any Oregon child under the age of 18. Many sites are located outdoors at parks and playgrounds, giving kids a chance to enjoy fresh air, exercise, and fun with friends in addition to a well-balanced meal. To find a summer food site near you, visitsummerfoodoregon.org
and enter your city or zip code for a map and list of sites, along with information about any activities being offered.
Or dial 2-1-1 or text your zip code to 898211 for a list of the locations and serving times for the sites in your area.
Interested in Planting a Garden for your Program - Not Sure Where to Start?
Check out steminthegarden.org
. This blog, kept by the folks at the School Garden Project of Lane County gives step by step instructions in a series of six modules.
The order of the modules loosely follows the growing season/school year. Module 1: Introduction to the Garden
and Module 2: Growing the Plants
give students an introduction to the garden and plant needs at the beginning of the fall when there is a lot of diversity of crops in the garden. Module 3: Developing a Locally based Food System
involves a lot of harvesting, which works well during the fall harvest season. Module 4: Making the Soil Rich
and Module 5: Designing the Garden
, are topics for the winter months when there is little plant life in the garden- a great time to explore all the bare soil and think ahead to the next growing season. Module 6: Independence and Garden Life
are a good topics of focus for the spring when the garden is coming back to to life and students have already gained a basic understanding of plants.
Though you can follow this order, all of these activities can easily be done at any time of the year to fit with your needs.
The Oregon Community Foundation will award grants ranging from $40,000 to $120,000 per year for three years to Out-of-School Time programs that promote academic success and serve low-income students, students of color and rural students.
OCF seeks proposals from Out-of-School Time programs that meet one or both of the following criteria: Utilize quality practices and wish to expand the number of youth they reach and /or wish to deepen the effectiveness of their programming by adopting and integrating evidence-based, culturally specific or culturally adapted best-practice programming.
Additional information, requirements and application details can be found at: http://www.oregoncf.org/grants-scholarships/grants/k12-student-success
Deadline to apply is August 1, 2013 for a funding decision in November 2013.
Oregon Dairy Council Mini-Grants
Valuable resources and grant funding
to support your work to provide healthy. Start small by applying for a monthly mini-grant to promote healthy eating, or outline a more comprehensive plan and apply for Fuel Up to Play 60 Funds. Oregon Dairy Council Monthly Mini Grants provide funding or equipment to support student nutrition by promoting and increasing accessibility of nutrient-rich dairy foods.
to visit the Oregon Dairy Council website for more information!