July  2019 Newsletter
What Does Summer Mean to You? 
By National Summer Learning Association Founder, Matt Boulay  

Imagine a faucet gushing cool, clear water onto a newly planted garden.  The water - so pure and refreshing it might be ice melt from a mountain stream - works with the sun and the soil to germinate the seeds and bring life to hundreds of varieties of flowers and sweet corn and peppers and potatoes and broccoli and apples and oranges and a million berries  that burst with 
their sugary juice.

Now, turn off the faucet and walk away. Walk away for three months. Walk away for June, July and August. Walk away during the hottest part of the year. Walk away just as your plants are beginning to flourish.  As you walk away, glance back over your shoulder at the garden that you once loved and nourished. As the soil dries out and the yellowing plants shed their green leaves and wither in soil without water, imagine that the faucet had never been turned off, imagine the beautiful, bountiful harvest that could have been.

Join #SummerLearningWeek July 8-13th and share how you keep kids growing this summer!
Wondering what is all the fuss about  Summer Learning? 
Keep Calm, Cool & Collected with these Summer Resources:
New Free Summer Learning Toolkit!
While many of us remember summer as a carefree time to explore and play, w e know that is not the summer reality for many kids who don't have the same access to opportunities as their peers, experiences like museum trips, library visits, or even safe space for creative play. But, decades of research  has shown us that summer can be a time to help level the playing field through high-quality Summer Learning programs that produce measurable benefits in math, reading 
and social emotional learning.

With more than  50-evidenced based tools and resources, the Wallace Foundation's Free Summer Learning Toolkit helps programs make a real difference whether a school or community based program! For more information about how the toolkit was created,  click here .

Summer Meal Sites in Oregon
Don't forget there are hundreds of meal sites across Oregon that provide free lunches to any youth 1-18 years of age! And if you are wondering what other activities they might offer, check out this  Summer Meals Map  text  "Summer Meals" to 97779  or  call 1-866-348-6479  to find more information about local options.  

Connect a Kid with Camps Across Oregon
Partners from around Oregon have been working tirelessly the last several months to prepare for this busy summer season. With hundreds of thousands of Oregon youth out of school, looking for things to do, here are just a few camps still open for families to consider.
STEM Camps at Oregon State University includes 
Lego Robotics, Cybersecurity, and much more!
Playing All Summer Long!

Have you read the latest articles available on the Genius of Play from their Play Experts? We know that play has a multitude of benefits for developing children including; Cognitive, Physical, Social, Emotional, Creative, and Communication. Summer is the perfect time to explore The Genius of Play's newly released articles showcasing the benefits of active play:
  1. Go Out and Play! - Encourage kids to go out and play with outdoor toys that provide great learning opportunities along with health benefits!
  2. Play, Symbols, and Literacy - Find out how play developed abstract thinking, laying the foundation for reading and writing skills.
  3. Six Ways to Promote Creativity in Children - Did you know creativity is the number one skill employers look for? 
  4. 10 Activities to Satisfy Sensory Needs! - Over of under stimulated kid? Whatever the case may be, the Genius of Play have activities to help every child achieve that desired level.
New National Summer Learning Association  CEO: Aaron Philip Dworkin

The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) had their new CEO Aaron Philip Dworkin start in June, working to lead NSLA into the future and have Summer Learning as the solution of equity and  excellence in education!

According to Matt Boulay, the founder and interim CEO of NSLA, "Aaron brings great energy and extraordinary expertise as a coalition builder, fundraiser, and visionary behind many successful afterschool and summer programs."

Aaron will be overseeing the implementation of National Summer Learning Week , July 8th-13th, expanding awareness and use of the summer toolkits they've created to help programs participate in the celebration.  To read more about Aaron Philip Dworkin and  his previous work click here.  
2019 Oregon Afterschool Conference on November 2nd!

We are beyond excited to see where this Quest for Quality will take us! Over the past year, OregonASK has been collecting stories, making videos, and reviewing resources that highlight the work being done to provide quality expanded learning opportunities in Oregon . This conference will give individuals an opportunity to explore how we build something strong from the inside out. To engage our diverse range of quest seekers, we have recruited an amazing line up of engaging, research-based workshops to bring to life our  five quality strands

Make sure to keep your eyes out for previews of our workshop sessions coming out later this month. We will be having you sign up for your sessions when you register, first come, first serve for your favorite sessions, so make sure to register early this year.  Registration will open August 1st, Early Bird Rate of $89 until September 20th, contact Helene Hancock about group registration, and s hare our  save the date  with your friends !
Access & Equity Data Review & Resource Discussion 

OregonASK has started the next phase of work on the Access and Equity Research Project based on our Surveys and Focus Groups. This summer we are convening our Data Design Team and interested stakeholders from various roles around Oregon to analyze the feedback we've received and make recommendations on tools and resources that would be most helpful to address  identified challenges. 

This team will be meeting on July 16th, in Wilsonville or online, from 10am-12pm. Please RSVP Here to help make sure you get materials and resources before the meeting. You can also read 

If you haven't had the chance yet, it isn't too late to add your voice and be entered in raffle drawing - Take our Program Management or Site Staff Survey today. 
Contact  Juan.Soto@oregonask.org  with questions.  

THANK YOU to all who have participated! We hope this data will help grow resources so more programs can reach the youth and families who need quality expanded learning opportunities. 
What did Happen in Salem this June ?

After spending over one week being unable to carry out business (vote or debate bills), Oregon Senate Republicans returned to the state capitol on Saturday June 29th to vote on more than 100 bills before midnight on Sunday . The rules of Oregon's Legislative system require two-thirds of members (a quorum) to be present in order to do the job they were elected to carry out. A busy weekend but  a few highlights that came out of a tense month in Salem: 

The Oregon Legislature and Governor Brown agreed to the highest educational investment for Oregon students in decades, over $10 billion including funds to Support Student Success and a few other policy wins: 
  • HB 3427Student Success Act creates dedicated, sustainable fund for schools
  • SB 664: Requires genocide education in all school districts in Oregon
  • SB 859: Increasing access to Oregon in-state tuition for 'Dreamers' in grad school
  • HB 2191: Mental health excused absences in schools
Since some funding will be dependent on proposed business tax, we will keep you posted about the likely special ballot in January 2020. However, n ow is a great time to strengthen relationships between school and community partners to make the most of public funding and quality systems that meet the needs of youth and families.
Welcome aboard Colleen and Helene!

We want to extend a warm welcome to two new team members who have joined OregonASK! 

Colleen Dorfler joined our team earlier this month as the new Health and Wellness VISTA. We are excited to have her on board as we expand the health and wellness projects of OregonASK. She'll be working closely with our Health and Wellness Coordinator/Trainer, Kassy Rousselle, as well as taking on projects of her own over the course of this next year! 

Colleen has interests in sustainability, increasing access to meals in underserved communities, and sharing her interests in outdoor education with those in the afterschool field. 

Helene Hancock is coming to us from the BEST Afterschool Program in Eugene where she worked as a Site Coordinator after finishing her Bachelors of Arts in  Family and Human Services. Helene brings a wealth of experience, having worked as an educational assistant in Springfield Public Schools with students with disabilities, as a Program Leaders with Willamalane Parks & Recreation District, and at a residential home providing  treatment for traumatized youth. She has also volunteered with homeless youth and refugees, and interned at Boys & Girls Club of Emerald Valley. 
Helene will join the OregonASK team as our new Office and Communication Coordinator, working on a variety of projects including the OregonASK Quality Campaign, Oregon Afterschool Conference, policy toolkits and becoming a  Master Trainer!

OregonASK VISTA Highlight

 OregonASK is still looking for a  dedicated and driven professional interested in being part of our team to make an impact in Oregon communities.  It is a full time, one year position: 
My Brother's Keeper VISTA  OregonASK will develop strong links to communities of color, community partners (community colleges/universities and workforce boards) and after school and summer learning programs to increase access to high-quality educational, enrichment and mentoring opportunities for youth of color.  To see more or apply for this position  click here .
2019 Save the Dates!
July 8th-13th-  National Summer Learning Week

October 11th-  OregonASK Partner Meeting
October 11th & 12th - OregonAEYC Conference @ Mt Hood

October 24th- Lights On Afterschool 
November 2nd - Oregon Afterschool Conference "Quest for Quality"
January 10th - OregonASK Partner Meeting
February 3rd - Oregon State Legislative Short Session Starts
April 10th - OregonASK Partner Meeting

Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter
(503) 689-1656 | general@oregonask.org | www.oregonask.org