Blogs: Parents

This is a long post showing meal resources in Multnomah County (and beyond). We start with school districts and then move to community organizations we know of that are helping the community. Please let us know if you need further assistance.

Para ver esta información en español, haga clic en Recursos de alimentos para familias. To see this information in Spanish, click Recursos de alimentos para familias.

Multnomah County School Districts

Multnomah County school districts continue to provide meal assistance during the summer. The SUN Service System also has information on accessing food.

We have done our best to provide current information. Please confirm meal availability through the links shared below.

Centennial [updated 10/5/22]

The SUN food pantry at Parklane Elementary, 15811 SE Main St., Portland, is open Fridays from noon to 1:30 p.m. Stop by to access 3-5 days’ worth of FREE, fresh, and healthy food for your family. Please bring your own bags. No identification or income verification materials required. Anyone is welcomed to shop!

The food pantry at Patrick Lynch Elementary, 1546 SE 169th Pl., is open to the public on Wednesdays from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Food 4 Families will have food distribution on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month (except March 2023), during the school year, at Centennial High School, 3505 SE 182nd Ave, Gresham, 97030. 4:00pm to 5:00pm. Click here for distribution dates.

David Douglas [updated 9/8/22]

There are food pantries at the following David Douglas schools. Click here for a calendar that shows hours of operation and any closures.

  • Floyd Light Middle: 10800 SE Washington St. Mondays, 3:30 P.M to 4:30 p.m.
  • Cherry Park Elementary: 1930 SE 104th Ave. Mondays, 3:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
  • Earl Boyles Elementary: 10822 SE Bush St. Tuesdays, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 
  • Mill Park Elementary: 1900 SE 117th Ave. Tuesdays, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Gilbert Park Elementary: 13132 SE Ramona St. Wednesdays, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Menlo Park Elementary: 12900 NE Glisan St. Thursdays, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
  • David Douglas High, South Campus: 1500 SE 130th Ave. Thursdays, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Gilbert Heights Elementary: 12839 SE Holgate Blvd. Fridays, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. 

 

Gresham-Barlow [updated 9/8/22]

Click this link for meal resource information. There are food pantries at the following schools:

Other community food box information can be found at The Sunshine Division and Snowcap Community Charities

Parkrose [updated 10/5/22]

There are food pantries at the following schools (click the link for closures):

 

Portland [updated 10/5/22]

There are food pantries at the following schools. Please click on the link to check for closure information.

  • Lent K-8: 5105 SE 97th Ave. 1st and 3rd Mondays, 3:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
  • Harrison Park K-8: 2225 SE 87th Ave. 2nd and 4th Mondays, 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Jefferson High: 5210 N Kerby Ave. Tuesdays except the last Tuesday of the month, 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Lane Middle: 7200 SE 60th Ave. Tuesdays, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Kelly Elementary: 9015 SE Rural St. Wednesdays, noon to 1:30 p.m.
  • Woodlawn K-5: 7200 NE 11th Ave. Wednesdays, 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Rigler Elementary: 5401 NE Prescott St. 3rd Wednesday of the month, 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • McDaniel High: 2735 NE 82nd Ave. Fridays, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Sitton Elementary: 9930 N Smith St. 1st Friday of month, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Roosevelt High: 6941 N Central St. 2nd and 4th Fridays, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Bridger K-5: 7910 SE Market St. 3rd Friday of the month, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

 

Reynolds [updated 11/9/22]

    Food pantries are located at the following schools. Click here for more information.
    • Glenfair Elementary: 15300 NE Glisan St. Tuesdays, noon to 1:30 p.m.
    • Reynolds High: 1698 SW Cherry Park Rd., Troutdale. Last Tuesday of the month, 2:30 p.m.
    • Alder Elementary: 17200 SE Alder St. Wednesdays 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    • Reynolds Middle: 1200 NE 201st Ave., Fairview. Fridays 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
    • Wilkes Elementary: 17020 NE Wilkes Rd. 1st Friday of the month, 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • Davis Elementary: 19501 NE Davis St. 2nd Friday of the month, 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    • H.B. Lee Middle: 1121 NE 172nd Ave. Call 503-255-5686 for information on accessing the food pantry
    • Walt Morey Middle: 2801 SW Lucas Ave., Troutdale. Call 503-810-9604 for information on accessing the food pantry
     

    Agencies, Community Organizations and Restaurants

    Information may change so please check their websites if a link is provided.

    C3 Pantry (NE): 6120 NE 57th Ave., Portland. Tuesdays, doors open at 11:30am, shopping is 12-1pm.

    Crossroads Food Bank (NE): 2505 NE 102nd Ave., Portland. Thursdays 9 a.m. to noon and Saturdays 10 a.m. to noon.

    Faithful Savior Lutheran Church (NE): 11100 NE Skidmore St., Portland. Food pantry Saturday, November 19th from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Mainspring Food Pantry:  They suggest following them on social media to see locations.  Their current free food pantries are located at:
    • Dawson Park, 1 N Stanton St. Every 1st Tuesday from 10am to noon
    • Victory Outreach, 16022 SE Stark St. Every 3rd Tuesday from 10am to noon
    • Mainspring PDX, 3500 NE 82nd Ave. Every 4th Tuesday from 9am to noon
    • East Portland Community Center, 740 SE 106th Ave. Every 2nd Wednesday from 9am to 11am
     
    Meals 4 Kids: serves qualified children and families within the City of Portland. Please visit their website to complete a request form.
     
    Northeast Emergency Food Program (NE): 4800 NE 72nd Ave., Portland. Open Thursday and Saturday, 10:30am to 1:30pm. Food boxes are prepared in advance for walk or drive up pick up.
     
    Parkrose United Methodist Church (NE): 11111 NE Knott St., Portland. Food pantry open 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
     
    Portland Adventist Community Services (NE): 11020 NE Halsey St., Portland. Offering prepacked food boxes for pick up,  Monday – Friday 9am– 11am. They also provide a mobile food pantry service to some neighborhoods.
     
    One Hope Food Pantry (NE): Located at 5425 NE 27th Ave., Portland 97211. Open for drive-through and pickup Saturdays, 11 am - 1 pm. Food boxes are available each week and a hot meal is served on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays.
     
    Sunshine Division (SE):  free emergency food boxes to pick up or be delivered. They are located at 12436 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97233. For hours and more information, please visit sunshinedivision.org or call 503.609.0285.
     
    William Temple House (NW): 2023 NW Hoyt St., Portland. Offering a walk-in pantry, Tuesday-Thursday, 11 am-2 pm. A guide to the pantry can be found here.
     
    Lift Urban Portland (SW):  Located at 1838 SW Jefferson St., Portland 97201. Food pantry hours of operation are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. A random number lottery takes place 5 minutes before opening to determine your place in line.
     
    Portland Open Bible food pantry (SE):  Located at 3223 SE 92nd Ave., Portland 97266. Pick-up food boxes, information can be found here. Pantry times are Tuesdays 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Thursdays 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. You can also place an order online.
     
    For more information about access to food for families including the Oregon Food Bank, please call 211, or  text "FOOD" or "COMIDA" to 877-877 for meals locations, or visit oregonfoodfinder.org.
     
    Self Enhancement Inc also has a list of community food resources that includes sites in Multnomah, Clackamas, Washingon and Yamhill counties in Oregon and Vancouver, WA area schools. Click the link and scroll down to food resources.
     
     
     

    Photo of a young woman looking a holiday lights
    Holidays. There are quite a few of them in the fall and winter months, and they’re supposed to be fun, right? Except for many people, they can be stressful. Some facets that can be issues for teens, tweens and pretty much anybody:

    • Your favorite holiday is problematic
    • Your family is a mess
    • You have no $$
    • You are without personal or family traditions
    • You don't believe in _______ (fill in thing that requires belief)
    • You have food allergies
    • You’re struggling with mental health

    Here are some things to read (or watch) about those subjects.

    Surviving and Thriving During the Holidays, Mt. Sinai Adolescent Health Center

    “It’s Okay to Like Problematic Things”, URGE  

    Tips for Managing the Holiday Blues, National Institute of Mental Health

    Dealing with Grief During the Holidays (Doesn’t Mean Avoiding It), Teen Vogue 

    Why Coming Out to my Family is Not on My Holiday To-Do List, Teen Vogue

    The Agnostic’s Holiday (written by a teen for teens!)

    A Teen’s Perspective on the Holidays with Food Allergies, Food Allergy Research and Education

    Local teens create the All In My Head: Real Teens, Real Talk podcast, and there are two episodes about therapy: Therapy Part 1: The Teens features teens reflecting on their mental health journeys, and Therapy Part 2: The Therapist has an interview with a local mental health professional, plus tips for teens on talking to families about mental health and therapy.

    This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here, and you can email us at learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

    Photo of a family reading a book together
    Did you know the best things you can do to help your child get ready to learn to read also happen to be some of the easiest, cheapest, and most fun things, too? They are! 

    From the time kids are born, their brains are learning all the things they need to know so eventually they can put letters together into words and words into sentences. Singing songs and hearing and talking about books and stories help kids learn vocabulary and the rhythm and sounds of a language. Smooshing play dough, cutting paper with scissors, and digging in sandboxes, dirt, or piles of rice help make fingers and hands strong to hold a crayon, pencil, or pen later on when they are learning to write. Making up rules to their own games or creating their own stories helps them with social skills and learning about beginnings, middles, and ends. 

    Reading, talking, singing, writing, and playing are all things you can do at home without expensive supplies; just sing and dance around to a favorite song or pick up a book, start reading, and ask questions like, “What do you think will happen next?” to get the early literacy learning started!

    If this sounds like the kind of fun learning your family loves, the library has a lot of resources to help!

    • Zoom Bags (not to be confused with the online meetings!) are easy-to-grab, age-based bags in Spanish and English filled with books and simple activity suggestions on kid-friendly topics. You can place those on hold and pick them up at your local library! 
    • Storytime staff have videos of books, songs, flannelboard stories, and activities that you can enjoy and sing-along with on the library YouTube. You can even favorite and make playlists of the ones your family really enjoys! 
    • There are booklists created on a variety of topics to help you find good read-aloud books, including these age-based lists, and you can always get suggestions just for you and your family with a quick email to My Librarian - Tasha, Amy, Kate, Sherita, and Diana all love picture books!

    This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here, and you can email us at learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

    Image of a family at home
    Multnomah County is home to an increasing number of young dual language learners, most of whom will grow up to become bilingual or multilingual members of our community.  Whether they are learning a second language from their families, or as part of a dual language immersion program, the library is here to help.    

    According to research, the language learning process begins before we are born, at around 33 weeks into pregnancy when the auditory system develops.  Also, the younger we are, the faster we can learn a new language.  That means the fastest language learners are babies!  For more about bilingual babies, check out Naja Ferjan Ramirez’ fascinating TED Talk “Creating Bilingual Minds.” 

    Families typically approach raising dual language learners in one of two ways:  

    • Some families prioritize one language at home– usually the parent or caregiver’s first language – while using the other language out in the community.  
    • Other families use two (or more) languages from the start and create opportunities for kids to experience both languages.  Playfully mixing languages is a part of becoming bilingual.  

     

    Families can support their kids’ language skills by finding enjoyable ways for them to interact with both languages via conversations, games, music, media, cultural events, and, of course, books!  For bilingual fun in English and Spanish, check out our new booklist for titles that include words and text both languages (below), or check out our Welcome to Reading and Bienvenidos a la Lectura titles to support beginning readers.     

    This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

    As a parent of three children with dyslexia, I have faced many of the challenges common to caregivers of a youth with dyslexia. 

    One of the biggest challenges I faced was navigating school special education to provide access to a free education appropriate to my students’ learning style. All students have a right to Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) through Federal Law.  My kids were not learning how to read in the classroom, and the school didn’t seem to be doing anything. Oregon legislation has changed since my kids first started school, and schools are required to do more to address dyslexia. But is it enough? You may have to advocate for the youth in your life. 

    Things to consider...

    Mental health:

    • Research has shown that individuals with learning disabilities: 
      • may experience increased levels of anxiety.  
      • may be at greater risk for depression.  
      • experience higher levels of loneliness. 
      • may have a lower self-concept (self-esteem).  
      • are at greater risk for substance abuse. 
      • may be at greater risk for juvenile delinquency.
    • 20 percent of children with dyslexia also suffer from depression and another 20 percent suffer from an anxiety disorder.

    Incarceration Rates 

    • Percent of adults in custody with dyslexia: 48% 
    • Percent of adolescents with learning disabilities that will be arrested three to five years out of high school: 31%

    These facts are alarming. But there is good news … intervention helps! When modern, research based instruction is put into place in grades K-2, the reading disability rate drops.

    Knowing where to go or who to talk to get an assessment for dyslexia can be difficult. Many states have passed legislation to identify dyslexia in children early on.  If you aren’t in school or you feel that your school is missing something, check out our Uncovering Dyslexia blog post, which points to places in Multnomah County who will privately assess for dyslexia. 

    Resources for families affected by dyslexia 

    Looking for books to share with your family? Here are some fiction books for kids and teens featuring characters with dyslexia, and here are some nonfiction books on dyslexia written for kids. For more information on dyslexia, including some book recommendations for caregivers, please see our previous post on Uncovering Dyslexia.


    This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

    a red apple on top of three textbooks on a desk with grey background
    Parent-teacher conferences can make students and their grownups feel anxious, but it helps when you feel prepared. Like all good conversations, parent-teacher conferences are best when everyone involved talks and listens. This meeting is the time for you to find out about your student's progress in school and ask their teacher to show you information about their attendance, grades and test results. And to find out if your student is meeting school expectations and academic standards. This is also time for the teacher to find out how your student is at home. When you tell the teacher about your student's abilities, interests, needs, and dreams, the teacher can help them more. 

    Here are some ideas to help you prepare for your next parent-teacher conference.

    Main points for a successful meeting

    • Keep the emphasis on learning. 
    • Review samples of your student's work.
    • Listen carefully and take notes.
    • Ask questions.
    • Respect the conversation, stay calm.
    • Follow up if an action was decided upon.

    Remember, your student absolutely deserves to receive the attention, commitment and support they need to be successful in school. And the parent-teacher conference is one valuable way you can ensure this is happening.  

    Before the meeting

    • If you cannot attend the meeting on the day and time that it's scheduled, inform the teacher and request to reschedule.
    • Talk to your student about how they feel at school and how they think school is going.
    • Ask your student to share with you what they want to accomplish this school year.
    • If possible, set some learning goals together that you can share with their teacher.
    • Review homework, tests and grades (if you have them).
    • You will likely receive both positive feedback on your student's progress and feedback on areas that need improvement. Be prepared to ask questions about ways you and the teacher can help your student with some of their challenges.
    • If needed, request an interpreter beforehand; your child should not act as interpreter during the meeting.
    • Make a list of questions based on how your student is doing at school (see below for some sample questions).
    • If possible, send a note to the teacher with your questions ahead of time so they can prepare as well.

    During the meeting

    • Thank the teacher for meeting with you.    
    • Ask about your student's academic development. 
    • Ask for evaluations and samples of your student's work.
    • Ask for ideas on how to help your student at home.
    • Ask for explanations of anything you do not understand.
    • Ask the teacher how they will contribute to your student's success.
    • Respectfully discuss differences of opinion.
    • Pay attention to the teacher’s comments and take notes on what is said and planned.
    • In many cases we do not have the precise words to respond to the teacher’s comments in the moment. It is fine to "sleep on it" or get a second opinion before making decisions/agreements.
    • Focus your comments on academics. If your student engages in behaviors that are affecting their learning or achievement, ask the teacher for a different meeting to discuss.
    • Ask that the school notify you as soon as possible about any inappropriate behaviors. It is important to your student's future that you take action immediately.
    • Likewise, ask the teacher not to wait until the parent-teacher conference to tell you about your student's performance.

    After the meeting

    • Reflect on what topics were reviewed and what topics need a follow-up.
    • Make a plan to follow up on what you and the teacher agreed upon to help your student be successful in class.
    • Set a date to meet with the teacher again and keep in touch with the teacher.
    • Talk with your student.
    • Start working on an action plan or family agreement.
    • Learn more about the education system, the school curriculum, and the tests your student must take (the library can help!).

    Possible questions for parent-teacher conferences
    1. How is my student doing in your class? What are their grades?
    2. Is my student attending a special class, program or group? Why? What is the purpose of having my student there?
    3. Is my student on grade level for reading? What about math, science and writing? Do you have any recommendations for my student to improve their learning? (Note: If tutoring is mentioned, please check out our post on free tutoring resources.)
    4. What do you suggest we do if we are at home and my student gets “stuck” on homework?
    5. What are the most important and complex (content-related) ideas my student needs to understand by the end of the year? 
    6. How do you measure academic progress?
    7. Has my student failed to return any homework or project?
    8. Does my student participate and express their opinions in class?
    9. Overall, do you have any concerns about my student's academic progress?
    10. What are the best school or district resources that we should consider using as a family to support our student in the classroom?
    11. What can I do to help you and my student?
    12. What is the best way for me to reach you?

    This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

    Over three million children in the United States experience a disability and almost all of them attend school.

    This wasn’t always true. Read Judith Heumann’s memoir of her life as a disability rights activist or watch the documentary Crip Camp to learn about the political and social fight for the rights of people with disabilities to receive an education, hold a job, and access the community.  Through these fights, the government formed the systems we use today to ensure that children with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education.  

    Look out: acronyms ahead!  You may need a special education glossary like this one from understood.org. Understood.org is a fantastic resource for parents looking to understand the special education system, what you can expect, and how to advocate for your child.

    Birth to Kindergarten

    Some disabilities are apparent from birth, and some come to light in the first years of growth and development.  In Multnomah County, the Multnomah Early Childhood Program (MECP) provides early intervention services for children with disabilities between birth and kindergarten.  

    If you have a concern about how your child sees, hears, walks, talks, plays, or learns between birth and kindergarten, you can ask for a developmental evaluation.  Screen your child’s development using this online tool from the Oregon Screening Project out of the Center for Human Development at the University of Oregon.  Call 503-261-5535 to get in touch with MECP for early intervention services.  They will do several observations and interviews to assess your child.

    The results of the MECP evaluation may diagnose your child with a disability and qualify them for early intervention special education services.  Early intervention could include services such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, parent education, and special education preschool.    You’ll meet with a team to develop an Individual and Family Support Plan (IFSP) that outlines which services your child and family will receive, how much, when, and where.  MECP services are free.  They are part of public school.

    School Age

    Children with disabilities in grades K-12 have Individualized Education Plans (IEP) or 504 Plans.  Both outline what services and accommodations a child needs to be successful at school. 

    A child will qualify for an IEP if they have one of 13 disabilities defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  IEPs have a more formal, standardized format and process for describing a child’s present levels of development, their annual goals, accommodations and modifications, service levels, and classroom placement.  

    A child qualifies for a 504 Plan if they have any disability that interferes with their ability to learn or navigate their school day.  There is no standard format, but the plan usually lists the services, accommodations, and supports the school will provide and the names of the people who will provide them.  

    Learn more about the differences between an IEP and 504 Plan and what you can expect from each.  

    If a child has an IFSP, you and your team will write an IEP or 504 Plan when they go to kindergarten.  

    Some disabilities may not become apparent until a child enters school: ADHD or dyslexia for example.  Parents or educators who notice a child struggling in school can request an educational evaluation.  That evaluation may lead to a diagnosis and an IEP or 504 plan.  Getting an evaluation and effective IEP after starting school has been known to require persistence. 

    When an IEP is in place, the child’s entire educational team meets annually to write the IEP for the coming year.  As a parent, you are an important part of that team.  The IEP includes a section for parent input where you can write about your child’s strengths, interests, and challenges to help the school know your child.  Your child is assessed every three years to determine that they still qualify for special education services.

    Graduation and beyond

    During the IEP meeting of your child’s sophomore year of high school, you’ll begin talking about diploma options and plans for after high school. 

    Getting help

    You don’t have to navigate this system alone!  Families and Communities Together (FACT Oregon) is a statewide group offering broad support for families experiencing disability. They offer help through parent education, connection to community, and a support line connecting you with other parents to help answer questions.  The IEP Toolkit and The IEP: What You Need to Know online training are two of their most popular resources.

    Special education can be complicated and confusing, and you might feel you need a second education about special education.  The many resources and support options help you understand and advocate for your child throughout their school life.

    This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up and you can email us at learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

    The Library Connect program

    Chances are if your child is a K-12 student in Multnomah County, they already have a library card! The Library Connect program allows students to have instant access to books, online resources, movies, music and more. 

    Students in Centennial, David Douglas, Gresham-Barlow, Parkrose, Portland and Reynolds School District can come to Multnomah County Library any time and use their school ID card to check out items. Their school ID is already connected with our library system. 

    More than 100,000 students have full access to Multnomah County Library thanks to this program. Of these students, two out of three did not have a library card previously.

    Five students giving thumbs up

    One family that moved to the Portland area went into the library with intentions of getting library cards. When North Portland Teen Librarian Isy Ibibo asked if the children had started school yet, and they said they had, she told them this most likely meant they already had cards because of the Library Connect program. 

    “The whole family was excited to hear it. I asked for their names and birthdays and looked them up. The mom was stunned at how quickly we had gotten them set up with Library Connect accounts since they hadn’t been in the school system for very long,” says Isy. “Everyone agreed that it was such a cool service that we offered!”

    Librarians are connecting with students within the library, but there are also staff members who have been going to schools and sharing information about Library Connect with teachers and students. Of these staff members, there is a dedicated full-time librarian focusing on developing this transformational relationship between the public library and school districts.

    Youth Librarian Brianne Williams spent some time at Whitman Elementary last spring, sharing information about the library, Library Connect, and giving books to students. “It was such a thrill for me to be inside a school again, talking with kids! The teachers were so grateful for the books, and so were the kids,” says Brianne. 

    The K-5 students Brianne connected with had great feedback to share about the books. One student shared “I love Zoey and Sassafras! I’ve read a bunch of the others, but not this one.” Another student said with delight  “this jumbie book looks really scary. I only have three chapter books at home. I really need another one. Thank you!” These giveaway books and more are made possible by gifts to The Library Foundation. These incentives have provided opportunities to engage students about Library Connect resources and build relationships with students and educators. 

    With the Library Connect program there is something for every age in the K-12 range. For elementary and middle school students there are ebooks, audiobooks, comics, TV from Hoopla and documentaries from Kanopy. For grades 9-12 there is even more! With a collection for teens at OverDrive Teens, there are curated books and even digital copies of some of their favorite magazines from the Libby App. For teens thinking about the PSAT or SAT, they can find sample tests, live homework help, and other resources too.

    The Library Connect program can help all year. During the summer when students are out of school and looking for something to do, “you can come in and immediately start borrowing books, ebooks, music. Or if you want to watch a movie, log on to Kanopy,” says Youth Services Project Librarian Kate Carter. 

    “If your kid automatically has an account, how about getting a library account for yourself too as a form of modeling reading and library use?” says Kate.

    Library Connect reduces barriers to access of library resources for kids and families. There is no longer a barrier of having to come in and sign up for a card, or even having to do the online form. You and your students can access all that the library has to offer.

    For more information on Library Connect, go to https://multcolib.org/libraryconnect

    We realize it’s only July, but we’re already thinking about going back to school in the fall and how to help you do it on the cheap! Here are some tips we’ve learned over the years:
     

    Reuse and Recycle! 
    Before heading to the store, look around your home first to see what office and art supplies you could use for the upcoming school year. And you might not need a new backpack or lunch box, maybe last year’s just needs a good wash!
     

    Borrow or trade school supplies
    Ask extended family and friends if they have spare supplies you could borrow or have. Or maybe they are interested in trading extra supplies? Maybe you have a bunch of pencils and your friend has extra notebooks–a swap would be a win-win situation for both of you! This can also work for clothes, if you know folks whose kids are older and outgrown their clothes, or check your community’s Facebook/NextDoor page or neighborhood newsletter for upcoming clothing swaps!
     

    Buy second-hand!
    From backpacks to clothing, you can find real bargains at garage sales and thrift stores. Or check out Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace (or better yet, the Facebook Buy Nothing page) online.
     

    Start now!
    If you can, spread out your purchases over the summer. You don’t need to make extra trips to the store, just hit up the school supply aisle when you’re already out grocery shopping or running other errands. And be sure to check the front page of the store's circular or sales flier for items that are currently on sale! 
     

    And the flip side of the coin… wait!
    There are plenty of great sales to take advantage of during the back-to-school rush, but seasonal items such as fall clothing become cheaper after school starts (and they have to make way for the winter stuff). And fingers crossed, your kids won’t need that winter sweater for a little while!
     

    Follow your list
    School supply lists are available now for some schools in Multnomah County. Print the list and bring it with you every time you go shopping. And follow it - no need to get anything fancy that’s not on the list. Here is what we found as of the publishing of this post:

    • Centennial: We were unable to find updated supply lists on their website. Trying finding your school and looking on their individual website, usually under the “Families” or “For Parents and Students” dropdown menus.  
    • David Douglas: “Families do not need to purchase supplies over the summer. They will be provided at school.” More info here.
    • Gresham Barlow: “Gresham-Barlow School District will be supplying elementary and middle school students with any necessary school supplies. Families will still need to provide their students with backpacks. Each school will be in contact with families regarding other school-specific details before the start of the school year.” More info here.
    • Parkrose: You will need to go into each school’s page to find their supply list. Once at your school’s page, look under the Student’s drop down menu for the supply list (if it has been made available). 
    • Portland Public Schools: Some schools provide supplies for free; unfortunately, each school is different. For the most part, find your school and look under the 'Our School' menu. Sometimes supply lists are linked directly from there. You can also try using the search feature (top right of page) and type in your school’s name and the word “supply”. 
    • Reynolds: Reynolds is on top of things and has one page with all the supplies needed!
    • Riverdale: Select your school and check the website.

    And definitely contact your school directly if you need help with getting supplies; they will help.

    Do you have ideas we didn’t share here? Please let us know in the comments below! 

    This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

    There are many horrific stories in the news about mass shootings, war, racism, environmental disasters and other tragedies. Even if kids aren’t specifically watching or listening to the news, they hear about these stories and can rightfully feel scared and anxious. And it’s important, as adults, that we be open to having discussions with kids about these tragic events. Thankfully, lots of very smart people have been giving tips on how to have these difficult conversations and we’ve listed some of them here to help. We are also including a reading list that may help. 

    How to Talk With Kids About Tragedies & Other Traumatic News Events from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
    In this article, the AAP encourages families to filter information about the event and present it in a way that their child can understand and handle in a healthy way. Tips are broken down by age, while taking into consideration development delays and neurodiversity.

    Disaster: Helping Children Cope from The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) 
    For families who have been through a disaster, this article speaks to behavioral changes you may note in your children and links to further resources.

    How to Talk to Children About School Shootings from the Stanford Children’s Health
    Written after the Uvalde school shooting, this short article speaks directly to children’s fears around this topic, and includes signs that a child may need additional help, as well as how adults can help manage their own anxiety and stress.

    How to Talk to Your Kids About School Shootings from Scholastic Parents
    We like this article not only because it gives age-appropriate and helpful strategies for having conversations on this very difficult topic with your kids, but also because it brings up the power of “allowing children to be active and involved as a way of alleviating some of their fears.”

    How to Help Children Manage Fears from the Child Mind Institute
    One of our favorite resources, this Child Mind Institute article is more generally about children’s fears, no matter what they may be, and how to help them learn to manage them.

    15 Tips for Talking with Children about Violence from ¡Colorín Colorado! 
    This bilingual site offers practical steps for talking with young children to teens. It includes admitting that adults don’t have all the answers and also feel sad, but that we are here. While the main site is in English and Spanish, a tip sheet is available in several more languages.

    This article was written for our Family Newsletter, available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

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