The 1st graders of John Wetten Elementary in Gladstone, listened attentively as their Learning for Life instructor, Kathie Dixon, introduced Bicycle Bear. The lesson includes the presence of a fuzzy friend to share tips to keep kids safe as they explore the joys and perils of learning how to ride a bike, scooter or skateboard. Through the lesson the students learn the proper protection to wear when riding as well as where and when it’s safe to ride. Impressively the students had a considerable knowledge of traffic safety signs, which followed with a game where they learned how to use their hands to signal while riding. Later they put their knowledge to the test while playing a traffic sign matching game, to familiarize them with understanding the laws of the road.
The Learning for Life (LFL) program has been in partnership with John Wetten Elementary School for over 10 years and they have had the pleasure of having Mrs. Dixon, one of our most dedicated instructors, teach there for the past 4 years. The 1st grade LFL curriculum focuses on developing emergency awareness in students. Aside from bicycle safety the 10 week program includes disaster preparedness, fire safety, stranger awareness, water safety and learning about respect and manners. Through these emergency readiness lessons, the students are able to ask questions about their curiosities and discuss common misconceptions which can help minimize their fears. The students are able to take home a knowledge and level of responsibility to take action and plan with their families, should the event of an emergency occur.
With all seriousness aside, it is without a doubt that whichever topic is shared in Learning for Life, there is always a strong sense of community amongst the students. With the goal in mind to develop programs that provide engaging and relevant solutions, it is evident that the students of John Wetten Elementary are dedicated to learning the skills that it takes to reach their full potential.
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What makes us laugh? How do our brains store memories of happiness? These are questions that the 4th graders of James John Elementary School’s Learning for Life In-School program pondered during their lesson on The Science and Culture of Laughter. With eyes closed, they were asked to think of something that makes them laugh, which erupted into an uproar of contagious giggles. The students shared some of their most laughable moments while exploring the parts of the brain that are responsible for storing such valuable memories. Their Learning for Life instructor, Mr. Kris, asked the students to think about why laughter is important for human beings. The students agreed that laughter is a necessary part of human existence; to experience joy, relate to one another, and it can even give your health a boost! Impressively, the students learned to pronounce and spell one very long new vocabulary word for the days lesson, psychoneuroimmunology; a study which combines the methods and techniques of psychology, neuroscience and immunology. They discussed all the active body parts and functions that it takes for laughter to occur, everything from belly-aching and shoulder-shaking, to fall-out-of-your-chair and spit-milk-out-of-your-nose good times!
This exploration of things that bring them joy in life lead to the nostalgic discussion of their favorite superheroes and trying to guess where the very first comic emerged. Humans have always used storytelling as a way to connect with one’s own surroundings, past and future. After many guesses from the students, Mr. Kris shared where the notion of the first comic came into existence; the cave painting! He explained that a comic is simply a sequence of events that tells a story. Both kids and adults have always enjoyed the ability to relate to fictional characters, even in prehistoric times! Mr. Kris then introduced to them the Zoetrope, one of the earliest animation devices. Invented in 1834, the Zoetrope consists of a cylindrical drum containing a place to put a strip of still images that spins in order to create the illusion of motion. Full of awe, the student’s imaginations flourished as they watched the magic reveal the pictures come to life. They were also able to experience drawing their own miniature cartoon sequences.
Most of the students at James John Elementary have had Learning for Life since they were in the 1st grade. The program itself has had a presence in the school for over 15 years. Some wonderful memories have been formed in the community of Learning for Life at James John. Whether or not the students remember that the name of the part of the brain which is responsible for the storage of long term memory is called their hippocampus, it is hoped that the same feeling of happiness that they shared during their lesson on Laughter, fills their spirits for many years to come.
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The Cascade Pacific Council Outreach Internship program has shown tremendous growth through its first year with participating students from Portland State University, ITT Technical
Institute, Concordia University and University of Portland. The experiences and projects that students have been a part of have varied including: classroom assistance, web design, newsletters, print production, curriculum development, writing and marketing press releases, social media, event coordination, and in house technical maintenance and technology.
Over the past year the program has grown from three interns from two universities to eight interns from four universities representing seven different majors. The blossoming relationships the internship program has developed with the ITT Technical Institute’s Student Professional Experience program and the Criminology and Criminal Justice Department at Portland State University (PSU) has graced us with some remarkably talented and innovative interns. “All of our interns have been extraordinary, bringing their own unique talents and personalities to our organization.” stated Lisa Dixon, LMSW Internship Coordinator.
Our first interns to be recognized for their outstanding work were two Marketing and Graphic Design interns from ITT Technical Institute, Ethan Houlé and Jack Wilson. Their wide range of work produced, having only interned with us since September 2012, was so expansive that their internship was highlighted for their work and sent to the ITT Technical Institute headquarters for further
recognition. Ethan’s greatest accomplishment thus far has been the creation of a logo to give the Cascade Pacific Council Outreach program a face to its name. He has also dedicated much of his time to the design and editing of our Inside Outreach newsletters, which has given us the opportunity to share our stories with the community at large. Jack’s creations have created a ripple effect in the ongoing efforts to share the internship program with many more students. He has produced many materials to be used in recruitment at the career fairs at local colleges. His work has included the production of a brochure, table topper, and additional program logo designs. Both Jack and Ethan have delivered work that has created a foundation for spreading the word of all that the Outreach programs have to offer; all of which will be used for years to come.
The trend continues with our newest relationship with the PSU Honors Program. Chris Arnold, a PSU Psychology Honors student, joined our team in December, 2012. He has since then proven to have a huge impact with the work he has contributed to our Learning for Life in-school and after-school programs.
Chris has served as a classroom aid at several of our sites, providing a variety of support from homework to basketball! He has worked with a wide range of age groups and classroom settings having supported many of our core instructors who strive to deliver our individualized lessons to oversized classrooms. More students were able to have a personal connection with their educational experience with Chris’ presence, which has also proven to be mutually beneficial for his growth as well. “My work in my internship position has been an invaluable opportunity to practice what I’ve learned in a real world setting, and to observe the real world circumstances of a textbook subject. Psychology is about human interaction, and the study is vastly more meaningful when seen and practiced firsthand through the lens of real life.” reflected Chris when asked to share how his internship has helped him grow. “In addition to providing me with a blank real world canvas to apply my knowledge, satisfying my learning goals, and better understanding my own career goals, the internship has granted me with the ability to do deep and meaningful work. I am helping some of the highest risk children in the Portland-metro area, and I get the chance to try to be a role model and mentor for kids who may not have that occurring naturally in their own lives. These kids need a positive adult role model in their lives, and being given the opportunity to do just that is satisfying to an unquantifiable degree.”
Chris’ ability to embrace his experience wholeheartedly was reason for the PSU Honors program to invite him to be a special guest presenter for an internship workshop. He provided a student perspective on how to prepare, locate, and gain the most out of an internship experience while balancing the demands of a college education. Chris, Ethan, and Jack have solidified just how far one can go within their internship opportunities. They have only begun to open more doors to many interns to follow.
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A talented group of athletes meet weekly during the after school Basketball SUN program at Reynolds Middle School, made possible by Metropolitan Family Services and the Learning for
Life (LFL) Athletics program. The basketball program provides the youth with a healthy outlet to exercise, learn new skills, and make new friends. Students that are part of LFL Athletics are challenged to think about how participation is more than just playing the sport, but that they are also there to learn about what it takes to be a part of a group that works together.
After school sports create a sense of community surrounding the sport the students love and offer them a safe place to burn off excess energy. The LFL Basketball program helps provide the players with an opportunity to get out of their comfort zones and try new things. A program offered to all skill levels can sometimes be difficult to find ways to challenge all the youth in the class, which is why LFL Athletics encourages youth-led activities. Players are given the opportunity to practice leadership by leading drills, stretches, and manage their sports equipment.
LFL Basketball assigns a Word of the Day for each practice, such as Integrity, Patience, or Respect, so that during and after practices the players can assess how that word pertains to being part of the team and their lives outside of the court. “I was impressed at how hard the kids worked at learning new skills. On occasion, I would be working with a group of kids who wanted to really learn a new skill in meticulous detail. Sometimes the kids wanted to spend considerable amounts of time to master proper shooting form. That kind of dedication will wonderfully translate to other aspects of their school and personal lives.” observed Chris Arnold, a Learning for Life Intern from PSU’s Psychology Honors Program.
Players in LFL Athletics are awarded recognition bands in four areas of emphasis; Leadership, Dedication, Sportsmanship and Community. Dedication bands were awarded to students who came in everyday always ready to work hard to better themselves and the practice as a whole, or by showing dedication to a particular drill or set of skills. Students were awarded Sportsmanship bands when they showed positivity towards themselves and others. Adult leaders have stressed the importance of striving to leave a positive impact through goodwill and cheerful service to the greater community beyond Learning for Life programs. One student earned his Community band for volunteering his time to work in the school’s kitchen; others served in a local church clean up. The players of LFL Athletics recognize that the relationship of trust and kindness that they give back to their community will ensure that there are courts and gymnasiums available for basketball for years to come.
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What does diversity mean? “Different socks,” “Different sizes,” “Different skin color,” “Different cultures,” replied the Peace Players of Markham Elementary’s Learning for Life Community
those differences that also led other potatoes to make fun of her.Program (1-3rd grades). The students discussed why it is ok to be different as they circled around a pile of potatoes, with which they pondered the deep question of, “are all potatoes the same?” Puzzled as to how to answer the question, they concluded that each potato had its own distinctive qualities in size, shape and characteristics. They couldn’t help but giggle as their instructor Ms. Jamila told them a story about her potato friend, and how she got her “scars.” The scars were what made her unique and different from all of the other potatoes; but it was
“Are differences a good thing or a bad thing?” asked Ms. Jamila. “It would be weird if everybody had the same everything. You would never know whos who.” proclaimed a student. “It
doesn’t matter if you are different, it’s what makes you, you! If we were all the same, there wouldn’t be that much interesting things,” said another student. The Peace Players proceeded to discuss ways to handle a situation like her potato friend had. “How do you think it made my friend feel?” Ms. Jamila asked. “Her heart might turn upside down.” replied a student. With the
After sharing, they said goodbye to their potatoes and put them all back in the bag. Ms. Jamila concluded by asking them once more, “so are all potatoes the same?” “No!” the students all chimed at once. “So do you think you could find your friend again?” she asked. As she dumped the bag back on the floor, the kids all ran straight to their potato; they recognized them now for what made them special.students found compassion for the potatoes in front of them, they joined in small groups to create the story of what made their potato unique. They shared the stories about their friends, which by the end of it, they had become quite fond of.
It was a week of discovering solutions for how to face adversity at Markham Elementary. The Cub Scouts Pack (1-3rd grades) asked themselves very similar questions during a game called Trust Walk, an activity adapted for the “Games with a Purpose” curriculum, developed by Christine Bruno, a social work intern from Concordia University. One scout was asked to be blind folded, while the other was challenged to use different forms of communication to lead their partner around the room avoiding a variety of “life obstacles” on the floor. After everyone had a turn, they circled up to discuss what some of the obstacles are that kids face. They talked about how to handle situations like feeling sick, losing your homework, feeling left out and being bullied. One scout shared her opinion about bullying, “people start bullying when they are sad about something.” The scouts discussed different ways to address these challenges, even when you can’t always see them coming your way. Many agreed that good friends can make all the difference. “To trust somebody they don’t tell you a lie and when they say something it won’t be bad for you, it will help you,” said one scout. But while they also agreed that you can’t trust everyone, it was clear that within their circle they had solid understanding of what it means to be a true friend.
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The Cascade Pacific Council Internship Program offers students opportunities to build their resumes, gain practical real world experience, develop professionally, and help the youth we serve. Through the Internship Program, the Cascade Pacific Council (CPC) is giving a teaching hand to college students interested in giving back to their community. The Internship Program exposes students to various experiences spanning from technical assistance and maintenance, to teaching life skills to at-risk youth in academic, athletic, and outdoor adventure settings.
Jamila Osman was a Learning for Life Intern from Portland State University during the spring quarter of 2012. Her educational focus was in Sociology and Criminal Justice. Jamila was a natural fit for the Outreach Programs, and she is now leading her own classes in the after-school program at Markham Elementary. Through her internship, she gained confidence in herself as an educator, which in turn led her to solidify her future career goals in education. Jamila was drawn to becoming an educator through her own experiences as a minority student. She strives to integrate social justice into every learning opportunity. “It’s important that students see themselves and their experiences reflected in their curriculums and classrooms,” stated Jamila, speaking on behalf of what inspired her to work with at-risk youth.
Christine Bruno is a Social Work Intern from Concordia University. She is working on getting her Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree. She began as an intern with the Outreach Department in September of 2012. Her internship has included experiences as an instructor for COPE, Hacienda housing sites, and the Learning for Life program. In addition she is developing a “Games with a Purpose” curriculum for after-school programs and is a member of the Cascade Pacific Council Special Needs Committee. When asked what her philosophy of teaching is, she replied, “adults need to recognize and encourage the unique gifts of each child.”
Ethan Houlé is a Marketing and Graphic Design Intern from ITT Tech. He began his internship in September of 2012. Ethan has taken on the enormous task of giving the CPC Outreach a face to the name. His favorite project thus far has been the creation of the Outreach Department logo. “I hope to assist the Outreach Program in getting their name recognized and out in the world! They must be known!” proclaimed Ethan, speaking on how he hopes to enhance and improve the Outreach Program through his internship. Ethan has shared his expertise in design layout in the creation of the look of the Inside Outreach monthly articles. With his help, we have been able to share the stories of the youth we serve with our community.
Jack Wilson is a Marketing and Graphic Design Intern from ITT Tech. He began his internship in September of 2012. Jack has proudly created a recognizable image for the Learning for Life Athletics program by creating a logo for our after-school basketball and soccer programs. We hope to use these logos for future player uniforms. He has also successfully designed a logo and t-shirt design for the outdoor challenge course, COPE. Jack’s goals have been focused on the enhancement of public recognition in all that the Outreach Programs have to offer. He is working with a development team to build the Outreach website. “The website we are making will give all of our programs a place to send people for more information about Outreach,” said Jack on the topic of how he hopes to improve our Outreach Programs.
Vincent Pelaez began his internship in January of 2013. He is studying Criminology and the Criminal Justice System at Portland State University. Vince has been paired with our instructors as a class aid at various sites in our after-school, in-school and community sites for the Learning for Life program. When asked what skills he hopes to develop as an intern with us he stated, “I hope to learn different techniques working with all types of youth.” He will certainly get a wide range of experiences working at our various outreach sites. So far his favorite experience has been working with the youth in the kindergarten age group. Many of our instructors have a huge class load with a variety of ages and learning styles. With Vince’s help, our staff will have the assistance they need to give the students the individualized education we strive to provide.
Christopher Arnold is a Learning for Life Intern. His internship began in January of 2013. He is in the Honors Program at Portland State University majoring in Psychology. He is a talented jazz musician when he is not interning or at school. He is collaborating with the Outreach Programs Manager to create a rhythm curriculum for our Learning for Life program. “Music is beneficial for the body; it can help with expression, social interaction, coping with life’s hardships, and self-efficacy, so I think every child and adolescent (everyone, really) should at least be exposed to music.”
This is the first year of the Cascade Pacific Council Internship Program. The Internship Coordinator, Lisa Dixon, LMSW is proud and thankful to have these remarkable students as interns for our programs. “They have definitely set the bar high for future interns,” she said.
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2012 has been a year filled with wonderful programs and events serving youth throughout Metropolitan Portland and the surrounding areas. This year’s success has been in large part due to our amazing partners. The Cascade Pacific Council Outreach would like to thank you. Some of our highlights have been:
● Our Learning for Life In-School programs this year have explored skills in safety and emergency preparedness, diversity and learning differences, community awareness, and so much more.
In-school Elementary Programs: James John, Orchard, Wetten, Beach, Faubion and Marysville
● The After-School and Community Based programs have learned about a variety of topics, including: endangered species, teamwork through games, basketball, survival skills, science experiments such as making lava lamps, slime and more.
Program Sites: Markham, Hartley, Peninsula, Cesar Chavez, Glenfair, Reynolds, Hacienda-(Salon, Jardines, and Mariposa), and Catholic Charities- (Kateri Park and McCoy Villiage)
● Vancouver Cub Scout Outreach enjoyed weekly den meetings after school and attended Cub World Resident Camp! The most memorable activities included archery, crafts, and skits around the campfire.
Vancouver Sites: Ogden, Fruit Valley and Washington Elementary
● Last summer, some of the exciting things our students participated in were: making things that fly, a pool noodle obstacle course, giant bubbles, and blasting water bottle rockets!
Summer Programs: Migrant Family Summer Program- Gresham and Woodburn School Districts, Reynolds Middle School, Markham Elementary, Hacienda- (Salon, Jardines, and Mariposa), Catholic Charities- (Kateri Park and McCoy Villiage), Boys and Girls Clubs- Wattles, Regence, Inukai Family and Salish Ponds
● LFL Middle School Soccer had two thrilling seasons of league play in spring and fall with H.B Lee and Boise Eliot taking first in spring and NAYA in the fall. This after-school sport not only develops skills for beginners to advanced players, but also focuses on incorporating important life skills in sportsmanship, leadership, community and dedication. Players also participated in a community service event with Scouting for Food, collecting food donations for the Oregon Food Bank.
Learning for Life Middle School Soccer Teams: NAYA (Native American Youth and Family Center), Parkrose, Jackson, Vernon, Floyd Light, Lent, Boise-Eliot/Humboldt, Ron Russell, HB Lee, Lane, Gremio, Tecoman, Triple Threat and Internacionales
High School League: Copa Multicultural
● Providence Fragile Children Center has a scout troop who has received support from scouting units in the area. We are so grateful for the help that they provided to make their monthly scouting meeting possible.
Some of our most memorable events have been:
● Horseback Riding at Gilbert Ranch was an unforgetable experience; many of the participants tried their hands at taking the reins for the first time, getting to know the horses for a morning and afternoon ride.
Groups in attendance: Betties 360 and NAYA
● The COPE (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience) outdoor climbing course on Scouters Mountain has been a popular event. Groups come up to challenge their wits and group dynamics in the ultimate trust building course: scaling trees, flying through the air and making lasting friendships through the day’s activities.
Participating groups: PACE, IRCO, NAYA, Reynolds Learning Academy, NW Family Services, Oregon Leadership Institute, Girls Inc., Lifeworks NW, Sky’s the Limit and Gresham AVID
● During Portland After Dark we pulled an all-nighter making visits all over the city to the Portland Fire Training Center, Rose Quarter, Sky Chefs, the Coast Guard, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, and our annual stop at Oaks Park for roller skating and bowling at 20th Century Lanes. Friends of the Children joined us to enjoy this fantastic outing.
● Family Camp at Camp Meriwether was a fun filled experience for the Cambodian American Community. Some having their first time experience with boating, and archery.
● Aubrey Winter Lodge on Mt. Hood was a blast; many groups came up to enjoy the winter wonderland activities. They couldn’t get enough of building snow sculptures and sledding.
Groups in attendance: NAYA, Reynolds Learning Academy, Hacienda, IRCO, Gresham/Beaverton PAL, NW Family Services, and Empowered Kids
Our look back at our 2012 highlights made us feel incredibly grateful to have such an amazing community. Needless to say, we are excited for what is to come in 2013. Big thanks to all of you, who were able to share these wonderful memories.
We will see you in the New Year!
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A thrilling season of Learning for Life Soccer came to an end on November 17th after 8 weeks of play in the rain, wind and cold. Nothing stood in the way of the dedicated players of this co-ed middle school league. The final tournament concluded with the neck-and-neck game between Jackson, who took 3rd, and Parkrose, who went away with 4th after double overtime. Jackson also received the Spirit Award, voted by the teams and fans as the team with the best sportsmanship in the league.
The winning team this year was NAYA (Native American Youth and Family Center) who also graciously hosted the end of the season awards ceremony following the final tournament game. NAYA has provided cultural educational programs for youth and families in the Portland area for over 30 years. They have also been in partnership with the Cascade Pacific Council for five years, whose youth participate in various events including COPE (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience), Winter Lodge snow days and horseback riding. Vernon Middle School put up a good fight for the championship and came in with a close 2nd but they proudly won the Community Award for collecting the most canned food for the Scouting for Food drive. Donations are given to the Oregon Food Bank. Their volunteer Coach Kevin Elton, nominated by one of his players, also received the Coach of the Year Award for having taught the valuable importance of good sportsmanship to his team.
As the players for Learning for Life Soccer eagerly received their trophies for their athletic achievement, they also walked the stage to collect recognition bands for their outstanding accomplishments throughout the year. Players are challenged to participate in the team beyond what it means to be a member of an after-school sport, but to be part of a greater whole in their community. By completing a series of personal goals, the players can earn recognition bands in Sportsmanship, Dedication, Community and Leadership. Players who earned all four bands throughout the season were awarded an Outstanding Player Medal for their incredible involvement in their community. While developing these strengths through the sport they love, they are able to cultivate valuable life skills that not only enhance their team’s functionality, but their ability to excel in their everyday lives.
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On October 27th 2012, a devoted bunch of kids joyously faced the elements, the crowds and traffic to see the Portland Timbers face-off against the San Jose Earthquakes for an exciting afternoon of soccer! Timbers tickets were graciously provided by the Tix for Kids program. Dressed in smiles and oversized yellow jerseys, these kids didn’t let the weather stand in their way from enjoying the sport they love.
These kids represent Learning for Life Soccer.
Learning for Life Soccer is an athletics-based program that focuses on community development and civic training, while working in partnership with Title I schools and other outreach
groups in Portland. This particular soccer program is designed to provide the players, coaches, and mentors a structured environment to engage in competitive soccer games and practices while emphasizing the importance of sportsmanship, camaraderie and a strong sense of community. Kids from around the Portland Metropolitan Area choose to spend their Saturdays running around in the rain, sliding in the mud, and working as a team to confront the physical and mental challenges of soccer. They are supported by a small group of dedicated coaches and mentors who work tirelessly to provide them with the skills, experiences, and opportunities that will benefit them throughout their lives. During practice, Learning for Life Soccer participants tackle leadership responsibilities, learn effective communication skills, and the importance of sportsmanship on and off the field. Despite inclement weather, these players approach every game and practice with admirable enthusiasm and dedication.
Passion for sport drives the players of Learning for Life Soccer, and that passion was visible as they sat down to watch the Portland Timbers. They cheered every shot and tackle, debated openly the merits of every call the referees made, and discussed the strengths and abilities of the various players on the field. Though the youth players may not know it yet, this kind of analytical thinking will benefit them later in life, enabling quick and strategic decision making. But for now, the kids are more than happy to enjoy watching their favorite sport played in a major league.
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