Please join us for the first annual “Safe Summer Rockwood” event to kick off the summer with a vibrant celebration of all that Rockwood has to offer! Pathfinders of Oregon is sponsoring this event in conjunction with I Have a Dream Foundation/Alder Elementary and the Maurice Lucas Foundation and with the the support of Reynolds School District, City of Gresham, and the Gresham Police Department.
Held on June 1, this will be a dynamic event featuring youth activities, entertainment, and community resources. We hope you will attend!
WHO: You! This event is open to all community members. Social service agencies, private businesses, Gresham Police and Fire Departments, Reynolds School District, faith-based community, Rockwood Neighborhood Association, etc. will all be in attendance.
WHAT: The “Safe Summer Rockwood Kick-Off Event” is a celebration of the community of Rockwood and will include various forms of entertainment, food, youth and family activities, health and resource information, opportunities for enrollment in ongoing activities and services, and more!
WHERE: Plaza Del Sol (18535 SE Stark Street Portland, OR 97233)
WHEN: Saturday, June 1st all day
WHY: To come together as a community to celebrate the beginning of a safe, active summer and to connect with ongoing positive activities, services and resources.
Pathfinders of Oregon is partnering with Black United Fund of Oregon to offer five college scholarships for youths whose parents are or have been involved with the criminal justice system. These scholarships are made possible by a special donation to Pathfinders and are available to Oregon and SW Washington students who will be college freshmen in the 2013-2014 academic year. Applications are due on March 22. Please visit Black United Fund’s scholarship info page for more details.
Pathfinders of Oregon’s Center for Family Success was recently featured on the front page of the Sunday Oregonian. The article highlighted the parenting and family skills people who have recently been released from incarceration learn at the Center.
With the start of the new year comes the close of our holiday celebrations. Pathfinders of Oregon celebrated the winter holidays in a variety of ways.
Our adopt-a-family program was successful and engendered many great gifts! We are appreciative of all who participated, and of Payless, who provided 100 gift certificates for kids’ shoes.
Pathfinders hosted a very successful holiday event for children and their fathers at Columbia River Correctional Institute. Featuring craft activities, a special holiday meal, donated gifts and books for each kid, a visit from Santa Claus, and plenty of opportunities for fathers to enact the skills they’ve learned from Parenting Inside Out, this event was a very special experience for all who attended.
Residents of Two Rivers Correctional Institute who had recently completed Parenting Inside Out celebrated with their families at their graduation, which coincided with the holidays and featured fun seasonal activities.
Members of our Living in Freedom Today program engaged in several prosocial holiday activities. They learned 15 carols, and wrote their own uplifting song about treatment to the tune of Twelve Days of Christmas — all of which they then performed for 600 inmates, including a special performance for the treatment unit. They created ornaments depicting positive LIFT values such as gratitude and awareness, and they decorated the windows of the treatment unit with winter landscapes — and staff members were very impressed with their artistic talent.
Our holiday festivities culminated in two fun parties, one at Pathfinder Academy and one at the Center for Family Success. We are grateful to all who helped to make each one of our holiday activities great!
The Pathfinder Academy Harvest Party was a great success! Fifteen families joined us in the festivities, everyone made turkey hands and wrote messages of gratitude to place on our Tree of Thankfulness. Staff and volunteers prepared an incredible meal that was appreciated all around and it showed when the students started boxing up leftovers to take home. Not a scrap of food was wasted! Each family also got to take home a holiday food box donated by Carpenter’s Food Bank to aid them in their home holiday meal preparation. After the meal we all had a chance to thank our volunteers who make it possible for us to provide our students with such a plentiful Thanksgiving celebration. Students relaxed and had dessert while their kiddos played together at the kid’s table. We hope to be able to keep our Tree of Thankfulness up in the dining hall year round as a reminder of the wonderful sense of community we share at Pathfinder Academy.
Pathfinders of Oregon and Clackamas County Children of Incarcerated Parents Committee were honored to host Miss America 2012, Laura Kaeppeler, at the A Voice for Invisible Children luncheon in Portland on November 13th. Miss Kaeppeler, whose father was imprisoned when she was a teenager, joined elected officials from Multnomah and Clackamas counties in raising awareness and funds for children of incarcerated parents. Read more about this inspiring event in The Oregonian:
The Pathfinder Academy for pregnant and parenting youth just published their first ever newsletter! Take a look to learn more about the exciting things going on at the Academy this fall . . .
Miss America 2012, Laura Kaeppeler, has bravely increased the visibility of children of incarcerated parents across the country as a tireless advocate and nonprofit leader. We are excited to announce that Miss Kaeppeler will be coming to Portland on November 13th as the featured guest of a luncheon co-hosted by Pathfinders of Oregon and Clackamas County Children of Incarcerated Parents!
A Voice for Invisible Children Luncheon
Hosted by Pathfinders of Oregon and Clackamas County Children of Incarcerated Parents
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Ambridge Event Center
Single Tickets: $35 Tables of Eight: $250
Buy tickets here: http://avoiceforinvisiblechildren.eventbrite.com/
Please contact Rebecca Witten at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503.312.3895 for more information.
One of the best things about being a graduate of the Parenting Inside Out program taught by Pathfinders is getting to go to special parent-child events. The events are hosted by different groups, but are only open to graduates of Parenting Inside Out.
The Family First Club at Oregon State Penitentiary raises money during the year to enable it to sponsor special father-child events. The summer barbeque, held on July 14, gave 30 fathers and 88 children the opportunity to spend an extended afternoon together eating hamburgers and watermelon, playing games and just being together. Mothers, grandmothers, aunts and uncles – the children’s caregivers – also come with the children, giving dads and kids a chance to enjoy time with extended family.
At the Coffee Creek Women’s Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, the Rotary Club of Wilsonville has been putting on Through A Child’s Eyes (TACE) children’s events for moms and kids since 2003. For the Rotary Club, “The key word for us is bonding.” And bonding is what happens when children get to spend time in relaxed settings with their mothers. As one mother said, “It was the closest I’ve come to feeling human and being able to set aside the guilt I feel on a daily basis.”
The Columbia River Correctional Institution is the latest to hold their summer barbeque, which was on August 25. 21 dads and 40 kids spent the afternoon together. Another seven inmate dads, helped with the event, serving lunch and manning the various activities. The kids loved the games and activities, but most of all they loved the time spent with dad.
Pathfinders has been teaching the Parenting Inside Out program, which was developed here in Oregon, for more than ten years in Oregon’s prisons. Pathfinders Parenting Coaches help parents develop their “parenting toolkit,” giving them the skills to parent effectively from prison and when they release into the community. Parenting coaches are critical to parents’ successes. Coaches work with parents for twelve weeks on skills ranging from communications and problem solving, to how to connect effectively through letters, phone calls and visits.
The Pathfinder Academy for pregnant and parenting teens recently held an intensive Digital Connectors course. Young women learned important workforce and technology skills over the summer and graduated last week with flying colors! We asked our amazing Program Coordinator, Crystal Lebeda, a few questions about the summer term of Digital Connectors . . .
What did the students learn?
The students engaged with an intense curriculum covering everything from leadership and how to work effectively in a group, to perceptions of women in the media, to the skills necessary to complete basic information technology repairs and trouble-shooting. The students completed a program on financial literacy (understanding a credit score, balancing a budget, how to save money for college, etc), and developed a community service project to teach children and adults living in St. Johns some of the computer skills they learned over the summer. The service project focused on making the internet more useful for elementary school students as well as adults in the community; the Digital Connectors sat down with kids at a community center and taught them about internet safety, educational websites to help with homework, and how to avoid getting a virus. They worked with adults in the community to use the internet to find jobs, access needed resources, and communicate with loved ones. The students studied for and passed a test of their IT skills, earning them all Level One IT Certifications.
What was the graduation like?
All the graduates were invited to bring their friends and family to the academy for a celebration honoring their hard work and accomplishments. At the event, we showcased student work and recognized them for successfully fulfilling all program requirements including passing the CISCO exam, completing curriculum and leading a community service project. Refreshments were served and laptops were distributed.
What were the incentives?
Students who attended every day of class were eligible for a $50/week stipend. Students who completed the course and passed the IT certification exam received a brand new laptop and laptop case. To earn the laptops, the class also had to collect 300 signatures of people they taught about digital literacy.
Any interesting anecdotes?
Our students were really dedicated to this program. We had a number of women stay late almost every day, going over the day’s lessons, finishing projects, making sure they understood. We had two pregnant women in our program; one had to be taken to the hospital during class because she thought she might be in labor. She ended up finishing the program, taking her exam, and giving birth to her baby that very night. We could not have been more impressed with her commitment in the final days of her pregnancy.