Beaverton Education Foundation Offers Help to Students

Beaverton Education Foundation Offers Help to Students

Beaverton, OR. School attendance is up thanks to Camp Connect, a new program sponsored by the Beaverton Education Foundation (BEF). It is an extension of the summer academic program Camp Achieve which focuses on getting at-risk students back on track. Educators at Camp Connect reached out to 75 students from four elementary schools in the District, all of whom had low attendance rates; many had not been attending school online since Covid-19 hit in March. Camp Connect helped families struggling economically get access to distance learning necessities, such as Chromebooks, iPads, and hotspots.

Pre-covid days in the classroom.

Families were also connected to other services like the District’s Clothes Closet, to food box deliveries and school meals, and to early learning programs and intervention services for their younger children. All Camp Connect students received a “Student Success Kit” with basic school supplies, made possible by BEF, the School District, and community financial support and donations. Additionally, Camp Connect families received supplies including extension cords, lamps, or lap desks along with a gift card to set up for at-home learning.

Here’s a video about the foundation which was made before the pandemic:

Principals at the four schools that received help shared how important home visits were to the success of Camp Connect. “Having something of real value to offer seemed to help families see the schools as their partner,” said Monique Singleton, principal at Vose Elementary School.

Terra Linda Elementary School Principal Christy Batsell praised the program’s outcomes, adding, “The support from BEF made all the difference.”

Based on the success of the Camp Connect Pilot, the program is expanding to better serve students from all of Beaverton’s 34 elementary schools with additional family outreach beginning immediately. Learn more about the expansion.

Teachers chose specific books for each student’s interests, and Powell’s Books sent five books to each student in the mail.

From Beaverton Education Foundation:

The Beaverton Education Foundation (BEF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3), supporting kids from kindergarten through high school, by funding innovative educational opportunities in Beaverton public schools. #bef4kids #BeavertonsChoice

Here’s a link if you’d like to donate to the program.

Nonprofits Come Together to Lift Spirits With Colorful “LOVE on the Fence”

Nonprofits Come Together to Lift Spirits With Colorful “LOVE on the Fence”

Portland, OR. Eight different nonprofits around Hillsboro have gotten together to make artwork and raise people’s spirits throughout the fall. The community project is called LOVE on the FENCE.

AgeCelebration is heading up the effort. On Thursdays through to October 29th, volunteers from 8 different non-profits gather at various Hillsboro School District fences across the community to add their artistic flair to LOVE signs designed by local artist Elizabeth Higgins. The colorful artwork will be up on the fences through this fall. This multi-partner community-building project hopes to encourage us all to choose LOVE more often, by reminding us that LOVE is always on the FENCE. In every moment we each have a choice, whether to reach out and create LOVE, or not.

The community is invited to walk/drive/bike around Hillsboro to experience the LOVE artwork on the fences, download your own copy of the LOVE art to color and share on social media, and donate to the eight participating non-profits as the fence artwork is completed. Follow the project @AgeCelebration and #LoveOnTheFence on Facebook and Instagram for fence locations, maps, downloadable art, photos, updates, and more.

From LOVE on the Fence:

“This multi-partner community-building project hopes to encourage us all to choose LOVE more often, by reminding us that LOVE is always on the FENCE. In every moment we each have a choice, whether to reach out and create LOVE, or not.”

The eight nonprofits that have been involved in the project are inviting the community to come to experience the artwork, download their own copy of the art, to share the joy on social media, and to donate to the different nonprofits. Information on where to go to see the artwork can be found here.

Nonprofits involved in spreading the joy:

Village Without Walls, Oregon Chorale, Bag & Baggage Productions, Le’o ‘o e ‘OFA, Hillsboro Hops Fund, Forward Stride, Hillsboro Schools Foundation, Community Action.


American Heart Association Finds Pandemic Hobbies Beneficial

American Heart Association Finds Pandemic Hobbies Beneficial

Portland, OR. During the pandemic, most people are spending more time at home and many have taken up new hobbies or found time to dive back into one they previously enjoyed. Physicians at the American Heart Association say that expressing creativity can be good for your health, especially during the pandemic, because having a hobby can relieve stress.

(Attila Csaszar/Moment, Getty Images)

A mother and daughter practice yoga a home.

James C. Kaufman, professor of educational psychology at the University of Connecticut, says that the process of creativity is valuable for people in many ways, both mentally and physically. Taking up a hobby can help because it’s fun. When people are having fun it’s a break from the stresses and concerns that may be troubled them throughout the day. Writing is also found help; when people organize their thoughts, it also relieves stress. Lower stress levels, lead to lower heart rates and improved mood.

From woodworking to calligraphy, building scale miniatures or collecting coins, action figures or antiques– Hobbies are as unique and varied as the people who pursue them.

Activities that are growing in popularity this year are gardening, exercising, spending time outside, playing a musical instrument, and even knitting. When people vary their hobbies by engaging their bodies and minds in different ways, it keeps both the brain and body healthy. And better yet, the benefit does not come from doing a hobby well or masterfully, it just comes from engaging yourself in the hobby.

Are you looking for a hobby? Here’s a video from Bustle about how to find a hobby as an adult.

Here’s a link to a Bustle article about finding a hobby as an adult. 

From the American Heart Association: “Maybe it was the meme that pointed out how Shakespeare used his time in quarantine to write “King Lear.” Maybe it was all those photos of sourdough bread in your social media feed. Maybe you’re just bored. Whatever the spark – you’re ready to take on a hobby. Good idea, experts say.”

From American Heart Association:

Our mission is to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, language, sexual orientation, national origin and physical or cognitive abilities. We’re committed to ensuring that our workforce, workplace and mission have a shared impact across America’s diverse populations.


Maurice Lucas Foundation Raises Over $600,000 at 10th Annual Gala

Maurice Lucas Foundation Raises Over $600,000 at 10th Annual Gala

Portland, OR. The Maurice Lucas Foundation held its 10th annual gala on September 18th. The virtual event attracted over 1,000 foundation supporters, and the nonprofit was able to raise over $600,000. Donations will be used for scholarship programs to support under-served students at six high schools in Portland as well as Harriet Tubman Middle School and Parkrose Middle School. It will also go toward the foundation’s academic, character building, and athletic programs for kids and young adults. KOIN-TV news co-anchor Ken Boddie and auctioneer Johnna Lee Wells co-hosted the virtual gala (as seen above). The gala featured videos of students whose lives have been changed through the foundation’s programs.

The Lucas family toasts during the gala. From left: David Lucas, Maurice Jr., and Pam Lucas.

The goal of the Maurice Lucas Foundation is to challenge students to grow and become resilient people and strong leaders through its programs and with counseling, mentoring, and coaching. The nonprofit focuses on students from middle school up to high school and beyond, working to help the kids learn their own potential through sports and education.

Emcee David Lucas holds a photo of his late father, Maurice Lucas.

Nike exec Howard White receives the Enforcer Award.

During the event, the foundation awards its annual Maurice Lucas Enforcer Award to the person who does the best at motivating and empowering kids, which were characteristics Maurice Lucas was well known for. This year the award was given to Nike executive Howard White of Portland.

From foundation board chair Todd Hanchett:

“Throughout his long career, Howard has always shared his knowledge and experience with others to enrich the lives of children and those around him. He has focused on being a positive role model to children around the world through his Believe to Achieve programs. Howard exemplifies the spirit of the Maurice Lucas Enforcer Award.”

From David Lucas:

“We created the Maurice Lucas Foundation in 2010 to honor my dad’s memory and continue his legacy of helping children in the Portland area. Now, after 10 years, we can proudly say we’ve used tutoring, character development, mentoring, sports and partnership to help 2,238 students and their families and another 4,320 youths through basketball camps and teams. We are committed to serving even more in the years to come.”

A replay of the gala can be found here.