The project we have chosen is a book drive to help enhance literacy. Our theme is “Supporting Families, Supporting Kids”. We have chosen to focus on literacy for our project, because all of our local schools are suffering from lack of books and reading material. So we have decided to do a book drive to support our local schools and the after school programs like SUN.
SUN school is a place for kids to go after the normal school day where they are given the opportunity to participate in activities and get help with homework. This allows parents the opportunity to work longer hours without the strain of paying for after school care. Their website says their goal is to provide the community with:
· “Strong core instructional program
· Education support and skill development for youth and adults
· Enrichment and recreation activities
· Family involvement and support
· Social, health and mental health resources
· Family and community events”
Our goal was to obtain as many books as possible to help support SUN. We will be donating all books to James John Elementary. We felt as a group that this is an area where the students are struggling due to lack of reading material. Because the SUN program supports families and the school, we felt that our contributions would benefit families and the children in the program. So far the outcome has been great. Given the short amount of time to collect donations, we have seen tremendous assistance from local companies and sponsors contributing time and space. OnPoint credit union was kind enough to assist us with marketing and allowed us to set up donation boxes at four separate locations. We also had other sponsor’s such as local police departments, Department of Human Services, and we had a donation box set up in the School of Social Work at PSU. All of which have been gracious with helping our cause.
SUN Schools work with other organizations in the community in hopes of providing services to families and youth in the neighborhood. They were founded in 1999 by the State of Oregon, Multnomah County, local school districts and the City of Portland. The decision was made in order to support schools and improve the services provided to students and families. It made local schools a community resource that connected people to their communities. Their project began with eight schools in Multnomah County and there are now sixty-four schools that have SUN programs from elementary to high schools. There are 108 schools that are identified as in need of their services and their hope is to be able to obtain funding to serve the communities. They hope to provide educational equity to all students in Multnomah County.
Educational equity is critical. It is something we need to focus on in our schools and the SUN program has this goal in mind. Our project in particular was aimed at early literacy for the students in the SUN program. If the kids have more access to reading material that meets their reading level, their interests, and if they have access to a diverse set of reading material, they will be far more intrigued by reading. Because the SUN program is incorporated into schools that are high poverty rate, this book drive helped provide materials to a program that is working to meet the needs of community members and promote educational equity.
For more info about SUN and the schools involved click here:https://multco.us/sun/sun-community-schools
If you are interested in getting involved, you can…
Volunteer at a SUN school!
Donate money to Lifeworks NW, the organization that runs SUN!
Donate Goods and Services. The website to a list of things they accept:http://lifeworksnw.giftlegacy.com/?pageID=5
Spread the word about Lifeworks NW and SUN. For more information on the services they provide, click here àhttp://www.lifeworksnw.org/what-we-do/
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