Blogs

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 Library

Midland Library will be providing free summer lunch for children and teens 18 years old and younger. Summer lunch will be available from 12-1 pm, Monday-Friday, beginning July 5 until August 5. Meals will be provided in the large meeting room, with activities such as crafts and STEM kits. No registration is needed. 

Summer lunch is sponsored by Wattles Boys & Girls Club, and is part of a federal program, Summer Food Service Program.

Midland Library is located at 805 SE 122nd Avenue, Portland, 97223.

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 6/14/22]

Information on Centennial's summer meal program can be found at this link. You can also see this flyer in English/español/русский

Food 4 Families will have food distribution on the second and fourth Wednesdays of June, July and August at Centennial High School, 3505 SE 182nd Ave, Gresham, 97030. 4:00pm to 5:00pm. Click here for distribution dates.

David Douglas [updated 6/21/22] 

There are food pantries located at the following David Douglas school buildings. These are for families to pick up free groceries, not grab-and-go meals. Check the link for a calendar that shows times and any closures.

  • Floyd Light Middle School: 10800 SE Washington St. Mondays, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. 
  • Cherry Park Elementary: 1930 SE 104th Ave. Mondays, 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Earl Boyles Elementary: 10822 SE Bush St. Tuesdays, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. BEGINNING JULY 12
  • Mill Park Elementary: 1900 SE 117th Ave. Tuesdays, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Gilbert Park Elementary: 13132 SE Ramona St. Wednesdays 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • David Douglas High South Building: 1500 SE 130th Ave. Thursdays, 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. 
  • Gilbert Heights Elementary: 12839 SE Holgate Blvd. Fridays, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

 

Gresham-Barlow [updated 6/21/22]

Summer Meals are offered at no charge to participants 1-18 years of age.  We do have some important changes to share for this summer’s service:

  • Parent(s)/ Guardians will no longer be able to pick up meals on behalf of their children.
  • Students/participants must be present to receive a meal and remain on-site when consuming their meal (food items are not allowed off-site).
  • Multiple meals will not be served at one meal service.  Meals will be served daily, Monday through Friday.

Meals will be served at the following locations, June 27th through August 12th:

  • Springwater Trail High School, 1440 SE Fleming Avenue, Gresham. Monday-Thursday, Breakfast:  8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m., Lunch:  11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • Gresham Arts Plaza (Splash Pad), 401 NE 2nd Street, Gresham. Monday-Friday, Lunch only: 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Gresham Main City Park, 219 S. Main Avenue, Gresham. Monday-Friday, Lunch only: 12:00 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Red Sunset Park, 2403 NE Red Sunset Drive, Gresham. Monday-Friday, Lunch only: 12:00 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Nadaka Park, 17615 NE Glisan Street, Portland. Monday-Friday, Lunch only: 12:00 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.

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

Parkrose [updated 6/29/22]

Summer meals will be served at the following sites and dates for children and teens aged 18 and younger. Meals must be consumed on-site. More information here:

  • Gateway Discovery Park: 10520 NE Halsey St. June 27th through August 26th (closed July 4th), 11 a.m. to noon
  • Luuwit View Park: NE 127th Ave. and NE Fremont. June 27th through August 26th (closed July 4th). 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Parkrose High School: 12003 NE Shaver St. June 27th through July 28th (Monday through Thursday). Breakfast 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., lunch noon - 12:45 p.m.
  • Parkrose Middle School: 11800 NE Shaver St. July 5th through July 28th (Monday through Thursday). Breakfast 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., lunch noon - 12:45 p.m.

 

Portland [updated 6/14/22]

From the PPS website: In partnership with Portland Parks and Recreation, daily free lunch and activities will be offered throughout the city in the 16 parks from June 21 through August 19. Lunches are free for all children in the community ages 1-18. Please note, all lunches must be eaten within the designated eating area at the park.  Grab and go meals are no longer available per USDA regulations and all children must be present to receive a lunch.  No food may be taken home.  We appreciate your cooperation and understanding with this transition in rules from last year's services. Sites and times are listed below:

  • Alberta Park, 1905 NE Killingsworth St. Noon - 1pm
  • Columbia Park, 4503 N Lombard St. 12:30pm - 1:30pm
  • Cully Park, 5810 NE 72nd Ave. Noon - 1pm
  • Essex Park, 7730 SE Center St. 12:30pm - 1:30pm
  • Harrison Park, 1931 SE 84th Ave. 12:30pm - 1:30pm
  • Holly Farm Park, 10819 SW Capitol Hwy. Noon - 1pm
  • Irving Park, 875 NE Fremont St. Noon -1pm
  • Kenton Park, 8417 N Brandon Ave. Noon - 1:30pm
  • K'hunamokwst Park, 5200 NE Alberta St. 12:30pm - 1:30pm
  • Lents Park, 4677 N Trenton St. Noon - 1:30pm
  • Montavilla Park, NE 82nd Ave and NE Glisan St. Noon -1:00pm
  • Mt. Scott Park, SE 72nd Ave and SE Ramona St. Noon - 1:30pm
  • Peninsula Park, 700 N Rosa Parks Way. Noon - 1:30pm
  • St. Johns Park, 8427 N Central St. 12:30pm - 1:30pm
  • Stephens Creek Crossing, 6715-6861 SW 26th Ave. 12:30pm - 1:30pm

 

Reynolds [updated 6/21/22]

    Click here for summer meals information. Meals will be served Monday through Friday, June 27th to August 5th, at the following schools.
    • Alder Elementary School: 17200 SE Alder St. 12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.
    • Davis Elementary School: 19501 NE Davis St. 12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.
    • Fairview Elementary School: 225 Main St., Fairview. 11:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
    • Glenfair Elementary School: 15300 NE Glisan St. 12:00 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.
    • H.B. Lee Middle School: 1121 NE 172nd Ave. 12:15 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    • Reynolds Middle School: 1200 NE 201st Ave., Fairview. 12:15 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    • Walt Morey Middle School: 2801 SW Lucas Rd., Troutdale. 12:15 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    • Wilkes Elementary School: 17020 NE Wilkes Rd. 12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.
    • Woodland Elementary School: 21607 NE Glisan St., Fairview. 11:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
    Other community locations serving meals can be found here.
     

    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.

    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
    • Kenton Church, 2115 N Lombard St. Every 4th Tuesday from 10am 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.
     
    Portland Adventist Community Services (NE): 11020 NE Halsey St., Portland. Offering prepacked food boxes for pick up,  Monday – Friday 9am– 11am, plus every 3rd Thursday per month from 5pm to 7pm. 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.
     
     
     

    Mom and child reading at a library

    For families looking for a welcoming space for children on the autism spectrum or those that would like a more adaptive storytime experience, Sensory Storytime is an inclusive and interactive program. 

    Sensory Storytime is a weekly online event supporting neurodiverse families. Children get a chance to have fun with the library while staying at home in a safe and predictable place. 

    “My kids are on the autism spectrum, and the pandemic meant they were completely out of their regular therapies for a long time. The Sensory Storytime was a lifeline during those times, and continues to be. They practice turn-taking, and the activities are super fun and engaging!” says Carmem, a Storytime parent. 

    Children with sensory processing differences may have a tough time coming to the library due to sounds, lighting or other stimuli. The way that each child reacts to new spaces and interactions can be completely different, and there is not a one size fits all approach. 

    “We have really valued all of the virtual options for learning that allow my child to be in her own space, but also be exposed to other children… activities as simple as finger drawing in salt in a tray help me (as a parent) think of simple, creative, engaging activities to keep us all busy,” says Taylor, another Storytime parent. 

    Prior to the pandemic, Sensory Storytime was offered in person, and attendance was relatively low. In 2020, all events and programs switched to online. More families began to join in this storytime. 

    “When Covid pushed storytimes online, we had the pleasant surprise that our reach to this community grew. Rather than the handful of families coming to in-person storytime, our Zoom storytimes often have as many as 50 families that register in a given session, and some families have been with us since the pandemic started,” says Kri Schlafer, bilingual library assistant. 

    During each session of Sensory Storytime the instructors, Kri and Karen, show the children a visual schedule. They refer to the schedule throughout the storytime to help participants track what's happening in storytime, and what they will be doing next. As part of the schedule, they take time to say hello, sing, stretch and move, and read a couple of stories together. The storytime ends with a sensory activity, a rhyme, and saying goodbye. 

    The library provides all program supplies not commonly found at home. Families can pick activity kits up at their local library branch or request that kits be mailed directly to their homes.

    “Every week is full of songs, stories and an activity based on that week’s theme. It is all age group appropriate, but also manages to be inclusive for children with different needs and abilities. Finding activities that my son (with expressive language disorder) can participate in has been daunting, but this has been the perfect fit for us,” says Grace, a Storytime parent.

    Sensory Storytime is one of several resources assisting with accessibility needs. Every library is equipped with a Sensory Accommodation Kit. These kits provide tools to help with background noises and other distractions. Kits can include a wiggle cushion, fidgets, and other items. In addition, patrons can request a free set of headphones at any library location.

    For a sensory learning experience, families can find interactive learning and play structures in the children’s section of several libraries. 

    With the upcoming Library Capital Bond project, there will be more changes to spaces to better accommodate neurodiverse people— like the sensory room that will be added to the updated Midland library. 

    Through the bond work, library spaces will be updated to better reflect the needs of the community. Long gone is the idea that the library has to be a quiet space, but rather it is meant to be a community space for all to feel welcome.

    Registration is now open for the Sensory Storytime summer session (July 12-August 23). And, if you want to enjoy storytime, but can’t make it live, take a look at the library’s Sensory Storytime videos. Welcome to the library!

    The Summer Reading program is about more than reading. It is about building a love for learning with fun things to do for all ages.

    A young child pointing out words in a picture book. An older kid cooking and baking. A teen studying for their driver license. These are just a few of the ways to join in Summer Reading.

    Child holding books and library card

    Early childhood: ages 0-4

    Summer Reading before you can read? Yes! Reading to babies and toddlers to help them develop a reading habit. They can also count letters, scribble, sing, and play games. Babies born during the summer months can start playing Summer Reading right away! Explore fun stories and songs by joining a storytime online or outdoors this summer

    Five kids running on grass

    Kindergarten - grade 5

    Children can participate by listening to an audiobook, playing games and even creating games! Going outside, gardening, looking at bugs and exploring the world around them can make kids curious to learn more. Playing sports or team games helps to build skills for cooperating and planning with others. 

    "It's important to think outside the books so that Summer Reading is relevant and accessible to people of all cultures, abilities, interests, and learning styles," says Keli Yeats, youth librarian.

    Cooking and baking is also an opportunity for children of all ages, teens and adults to participate in Summer Reading. When cooking and baking, kids can read recipes and practice math and science. Check out an e-cookbook! Make recipes based on a book or story: Arab Fairy Tale Feasts, The Manga Cookbook, The Pokémon Cookbook. You can listen to local music through the Library Music Project while you work together to make a delicious meal. 

    “Other things that you can do to participate that promote learning outside of reading include: writing your own story, writing a poem, or creating your own game, making art or exploring a new language . . .  All of those are different activities that we encourage youth to do throughout the summer months to participate in this game and promote learning,” says Bryan Fearn, community learning manager.

    Two teens in front of 3-D printer at Rockwood Makerspace

    Middle school and high school

    Teens may think reading is the only option for participating in Summer Reading. Not so! If toddlers can participate through play, why shouldn’t teens and adults?

    Try tabletop or video role playing games. Teens can learn history and practice storytelling. There can be a lot of reading and math in character development and game rules. Teamwork in these games builds the same skills as physical sports.

    Other ways teens can stay involved in Summer Reading is by learning to be good digital citizens online and through social media. Everyday rules in our day to day lives don't always translate to those in the digital space, so learning how to seek good online spaces, research information for accuracy, and checking community guidelines can make a big difference. 

    “This gets to the point of Summer Reading. It’s not just about reading books. It’s about preparing youth and teens to go out and navigate the world as adults,” says Keli Yeats, youth librarian.

    At the Rockwood Makerspace, teens can learn how to use new technology or create independent art projects. It’s a great way to build digital skills and confidence.

    Summer Reading is supported by gifts to The Library Foundation, a local nonprofit dedicated to enhancing our library's leadership, innovation and reach through private support.

    Adults

    Adults can play a Summer Reading game too with the Read 4 Life game. Through Hoopla, adults can browse a collection of digital comics, play music, or even check out movies. See the library’s events page for classes for job seekers, computer help, and more. 

    Read 4 Life is sponsored by The Friends of the Library.

    What is Dyslexia?

    Dyslexia is a neurological difference often characterized by difficulties with reading, writing and spelling. It may run in the families and cannot be “cured.” Individuals with this condition must learn coping strategies.

    Dyslexia has nothing to do with intelligence. With the right instruction, almost all individuals with dyslexia can learn to read.  A multi-sensory, phonics based approach is often the best way to help kids learn to read. The Orton-Gillingham, Barton System and/or Lindamood-Bell programs are well known programs that work.

    This great Ted-Ed talk provides an overview of dyslexia.

    What should I look for?

    Decoding Dyslexia offers these early signs of dyslexia:

    • Late speech (3 years or later)
    • Mixing up sounds in multi-syllable words (e.g. bisghetti, aminal, mazageen)
    • Inability to rhyme by age 4
    • Difficulty with substitutions, omissions and deletions
    • Unusual pencil grip
    • Difficulty remembering rote facts (months of the year, days of the week)
    • Confusion of left vs. right  

    One of the biggest challenges of dyslexia is counteracting shame caused by teasing and misunderstanding. Children are often teased because they can’t read as well as others. Teachers may say things like “she’s a slow reader” in front of the child or parents. Kids know what “slow” means and they often grow up believing they are “stupid” and/or “lazy.”

    Headstrong Nation’s Learn the Facts wants you to know the facts, help your child recognize her/his strengths and weaknesses, learn how to talk about it with trusted friends and family and eventually, be comfortable sharing one’s real self with the world.

    Dyslexia Assessment in Multnomah County

    Oregon Senate Bills 612 and 1003 require school districts to universally screen for risk factors of dyslexia in kindergarten. The Oregon Department of Education provides guidance and training for districts and educators. If you or your child aren't in school or you feel the school is missing something, here are a few of the many assessment and intervention providers in the County.

    The Blosser Center - Accredited by the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators, the Blosser Center provides assessment, tutoring and teacher training.

    Language Skills Therapy - Provides assessment and tutoring

    New Leaves Clinic - Provides assessment and treatment in Hillsboro, Oregon

    PDX Reading Specialist, LLC​ - Provides assessment, tutoring, advocacy and professional development

    How the library can help

    There are three valid types of reading: with your eyes (print & video), with your ears (audiobooks), and with your fingers (Braille).  

    Audiobooks

    Typically easier for someone with dyslexia, the library has thousands of audiobooks on CD and in downloadable formats for people who read with their ears. Library information staff can help you find and use audiobooks.

    DVD/Blu-ray and streaming

    The library has thousands of DVDs, Blu-ray and downloadable films for people who read with eyes and ears. Library information staff can help you find and use these media.

    E-books

    E-books are available to borrow through OverDrive to read on your desktop or with the Libby app. Accessibility options include using screen readers, changing text size, turning on dyslexic font, reading in sepia or night mode, and more. When searching for a subject, you can also look for the format "OverDrive Read-along" which provides narration that plays along while you read. The OverDrive help page explains how to find these read-along books and library staff can help as well.

    Additional resources

    Bookshare e-books have functions for people with print disabilities, including low vision, dyslexia and the inability to hold a physical book. Adults with a library card can get free access through the library. Students can get access through their school.

    The Oregon Talking Book and Braille Library is free for any Oregonian with a print-disability including dyslexia or dysphasia.

    This Pride Month, the library is recognizing the LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) communities. Through the sharing of their own experiences, talents and advocacy, they’ve become influential voices for our time.

    1) Darcelle XV (he/him) also known as Walter W. Cole, is a drag queen performer, entertainer, and cabaret owner in Portland. His memoir Just Call Me Darcelle shares stories from his past and present as Oregon’s most celebrated female impersonator. 

    Darcelle XV

    2) Charlie Amáyá Scott (they/she) is a writer, academic/ PhD candidate, social media influencer and activist from the central part of the Navajo Nation. Through their blog, Diné Aesthetic(s), Charlie develops educational resources on Indigenous Feminism.

    3) Ocean Vuong (he/him) is an award-winning poet, essay and novel writer. His 2019 debut novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, is a letter from a son to a mother covering topics of race, class, and masculinity.

    Ocean Vuong

    4) Carmen Maria Machado (she/her) is a short story author, essayist, and winner of the Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Nonfiction. Her bestselling memoir, In the Dream House, dives into history of abuse in relationships and specifically between lesbian partners. 

    Carmen Maria Machado

    5) Lil Nas X (he/him) is the first openly gay Black music artist to win a Country Music Association award and Grammy Award. In 2021 he was awarded the Trevor Project’s Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year Award for his commitment to supporting young LGBTQ+ people struggling with thoughts of suicide. 

    Little Nas X

    6) Traci Carr (they/she) is an activist based in Los Angeles, focusing on Black activism and intersectionality for being Queer and Black. Traci organizes direct action protests for causes such as Black Women Periodt, Free Eman, and Trans Joy Day. She is also the creator and host of the upcoming series Superpower to the People, in development for streaming.

    7) Jazz Jennings (she/her) is an activist, YouTube personality, and the co-founder of TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation. She has written two books (I Am Jazz! and Being Jazz) about acceptance and her life experience.

    Jazz Jennings

    8) Edgar Gomez (he/him) is a femme-queer-Latinx man of Nicaraguan and Puerto Rican descent. His debut memoir High-Risk Homosexual is about his life experience as a gay man in an anti-gay space and machismo culture.

    9) Darcie Little Barger (she/her) is an earth scientist and science fiction, horror, and fantasy author. Her novel Elatsoe features an asexual Lipan Apache teenager and was a YA (Young Adult) bestseller.

    10) Billie Jean King (she/her) is a world-renowned tennis player and champion who won 39 Grand Slam titles. She fought for equal pay and rights for female and male athletes. Beloved in her home city of Long Beach, California, where she was born and raised, the local Long Beach library is named the Billie Jean King Main Library.

    Billie Jean King

    11) Qwo-Li Driskill (they/them) is a poet, scholar, activist, and assistant professor at Oregon State University. Their book, Asegi Stories, provides insight into Cherokee cultural memories of same-sex relationships and nonbinary gender systems. 

    12) Julie Sondra Decker (she/her) is a YouTuber and writer most well known for her work on asexuality through her book The Invisible Orientation.

    13) Geo Socomah Neptune (they/she) is a nonbinary Two-Spirit member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, a master basketmaker, educator, activist, and the first openly transgender elected offical in Maine. Learn the history of the term two-spirit in this video with Geo and Them.

    14) Kosoko Jackson (he/him) is an author of short stories, essays, and novels featuring Black and Queer youth. His newest book, I’m So (not) Over You, is a romantic comedy about a young couple.

    15) Joshua Whitehead (he/him) is an Oji-nêhiyaw Two-Spirit queer otâcimow from Peguis First Nation. An author, professor, and PhD candidate who helped create and uplift Indigiqueer through his writing, including Jonny Appleseed and Full Metal Indigiqueer.

    On June 17, 2021, Juneteenth became a federal holiday. This monumental day was made possible by the countless efforts of strong community leaders. Among them is Opal Lee -  coined as the “Grandmother of Juneteenth.”

    Opal Lee

    Ms. Opal worked for years to bring awareness to the United States Congress that Juneteenth is a day that needed to be celebrated nationwide. For decades, it’s been observed throughout the United States as a day to rejoice and commemorate June 19, 1865, and the abolition of slavery. 

    This day symbolizes the two and a half years that passed after the Emancipation Proclamation when over 250,000 Black people in Texas were finally free from enslavement. 

    With the goal of gathering support to make Juneteenth a national holiday, Ms. Opal started an online petition that gained over 1.5 million signatures. And in 2016, at the age of 89, Ms. Opal set out to hand deliver this petition to the President in Washington, D.C. 

    Opal Lee waving to crowd on her walk

    In September 2016, she embarked on a 1,400 mile long trek from Fort Worth, Texas, arriving in Washington, D.C. in January 2017. The journey, was divided into 2.5-mile-long walks every day, symbolizing the 2.5 years that it took to abolish slavery in Texas. Every year since, Ms. Opal has been steering a 2.5-mile walk in remembrance of Juneteenth. 

    At the age of 94, Ms. Opal was able to reach her goal of making Juneteenth a federal holiday during her lifetime. In her recently published book Juneteenth: A Children’s Story, Ms. Opal advocates for education as a tool to make social change. She discusses the history of slavery and the importance of freedom.

    Clara Peoples

    In Oregon, Clara Peoples has been an important figure in the observance of Juneteenth, leading the first public celebration at Kaiser Shipyards in 1945. Ms.Clara spoke to her co-workers saying, “Hear ye, hear ye. It’s Juneteenth. We have 15 minutes to celebrate,” and the first celebration was afoot.

    Clara Peoples

    In 1972, Ms.Clara helped make Juneteenth a recognized holiday for the City of Portland, and started the larger celebrations known as Juneteenth Oregon shortly after. The Juneteenth Oregon celebrations include a parade, live music, vendors, educational booths, community resources, and a Miss Juneteenth pageant. 

    The Miss Juneteenth pageant is an event celebrating Juneteenth and offering young Black women a chance to showcase their success, knowledge, and talent. This program also has an educational component to help develop leadership skills, community, and self-empowerment. 

    In 2019, Aceia “Ace” Spade, a teen from Eugene, won the state of Oregon Miss Juneteenth competition. As Miss Juneteenth, Ace was the recipient of a scholarship, and additional educational resources. In 2021, Ace participated in the National Miss Juneteenth Pageant, and won the competition! 

    The Juneteenth celebrations provide opportunities for people of all ages to learn more about the history of Juneteenth and build a sense of community. 

    Juneteenth at the library 

    Since 2001, the library has been celebrating Juneteenth in the form of events, book displays and giveaways, especially at the North Portland Library. 

    Leading these efforts for 20 years was Ms. Patricia Welch, who wanted to celebrate Juneteenth and build stronger relationships with the North Portland community. In the first celebration, titled Juneteenth: Words Along the Way, there were readings of famous Black authors and activists, performances from local theater company PassinArt, and music from Thara Memory’s community orchestra playing symphonic music from Black composers.

    “We have had some excellent Juneteenth celebrations, but this first one was hard to beat,” says Ms. Patricia. “We were reading everything from Frederick Douglass to Malcolm X. We had an ice cream social with red pop, so people could make their own sundae. It was a glorious day for the library to be part of this tradition.”

    Although there have not been Juneteenth celebrations in person in the last few years, the library hopes to be able to bring back these events and engage with the community this way in the coming years. 

    Current North Portland Library Administrator Perry Gardner says that “Juneteenth is a true celebration of freedom.”

    Perry also speaks to the connection between Juneteenth and literacy, saying that “with Juneteenth, people can engage in innovation of their minds… Going from the chains of illiteracy to the freedom of literacy and the opportunity to be educated.”

    To find resources on the history of Juneteenth, take a look at these Juneteenth resources from My Librarian Alicia T.

    Summer Reading

    Students across Multnomah County will receive a Summer Reading gameboard at their school before summer vacation begins. To participate, players keep track of the time they read, are read to, listen to audiobooks, or complete gameboard activities. Players can earn books, coupons, a Summer Reading T-shirt and other prizes. Summer Reading is free, and youth who finish the game will be entered into the grand prize drawing.

    Family wearing Summer Reading shirts, holding books, at library

    Summer Reading gameboards are available in English and Spanish, with instructions for the game available in Russian, Chinese, and Vietnamese. Youth can also play online using Beanstack or by downloading the mobile Beanstack app.

    The Summer Reading program includes an array of fun, free online events for children, teens and families. Enjoy summer time stories, music, crafts, magic and other activities this summer. Plus, it’s possible your student already has access to the library through the Library Connect program! The Library Connect program allows students to have instant access to books, online resources, movies, music, and more. 

    Summer Reading is supported by gifts to The Library Foundation, a local nonprofit dedicated to enhancing our library's leadership, innovation and reach through private support. Learn more about the Summer Reading program in this fun video.

    Volunteers

    Summer Reading volunteers will be back in person at the library this summer. Volunteers explain the Summer Reading game to youth and their families, help youth select prizes, and more. There are still library locations with volunteer spots available. The volunteer application lists what library locations still have volunteer openings. Apply by June 10.

    Are you a teen who loves Summer Reading, but would rather volunteer from home? Become a Summer Reading Promoter. Share your love of Summer Reading while earning volunteer hours. Do chalk art, create Summer Reading posters, share information about Summer Reading through social media, and more! Learn more and apply

    Person wearing summer reading shirt at library

    Read 4 Life

    Adults can play too! Beginning June 16, pick up a Read 4 Life gameboard at your local library, or sign up to play online with Beanstack.

    Gameboards are available in Spanish, Chinese and English; however, you are welcome to play the game in any language.

    Challenge yourself with activities like starting a daily reading practice, exploring the library's Black Resources Collection or getting a list of recommended reads from the My Librarian team. 

    Once you've completed four of the gameboard activities, you can enter to win prizes such as gift coupons to Third Eye Books, Starbucks and more.

    Read 4 Life is made possible by the Friends of the Library.

    ¡El verano ya está aquí y con él un sinnúmero de actividades por realizar! Nada mejor que planear lo que queremos hacer y que hemos dejado pendiente por tiempo. Mis preferencias durante esta estación del año van desde leer un libro en una tarde soleada o escuchar otro libro cuando estoy limpiando mi casa. Tal vez leer en compañia de la familia o leer un libro ilustrado con su niño pueda ser otra alternativa.

    Otra actividad para disfrutar y divertirse es participar en la Lectura de Verano para adultos que la biblioteca del Condado de Multnomah ofrece año con año. Cocinar ricos platillos y compartir las recetas de los mismos con mis amigos es algo que me encanta hacer también. Qué tal el trabajo en el jardín, plantando flores o vegetales. Y qué decir de los paseos al aire libre o por la playa. ¡Con los días largos llenos de luz natural no hay tiempo que perder! Cualquiera de estas opciones y otras más hacen del verano un tiempo lleno de memorias especiales. ¿Cuál será su historia este verano? 

    "You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive." - James Baldwin

    Stories help us understand ourselves and empathize with others. Explore these lists featuring authors and characters who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, Two-spirit and more. From romance to manga, history to science fiction, find your next good read here.

    Are you looking for books for kids and teens? Find them here. If you're looking for reading recommendations beyond these lists, try My Librarian.

    La comunicación efectiva es esencial para construir asociaciones entre la escuela y la familia y apoyar el rendimiento de los estudiantes. Esta asociación debe estar unida al aprendizaje, abordar las diferencias culturales y tener un sistema de toma de decisiones compartido.

    He aquí una serie de recursos para tomar en cuenta cuando se comunique con las escuelas.

    Guía de recursos para las familias de habla hispana. Esta guía menciona las expectativas que los padres y tutores pueden tener acerca de las escuelas, sus maestros y su hijo. Además, incluye información acerca de los recursos con los que las escuelas cuentan y las medidas que las familias pueden tomar para ayudar a sus estudiantes a aprender.

    Hable con los maestros para aclarar dudas sobre las tareas escolares. Incluye sugerencias de cómo abordar algunos problemas que los estudiantes enfrentan al realizar sus tareas y cómo comunicarse y trabajar junto con los maestros para poder ayudar a su estudiante con el trabajo en la escuela y en casa.

    Preguntas que hacen los padres sobre las escuelas y sus servicios. ¿Cómo puedo ayudar a mi estudiante? ¿Qué puedo esperar de los maestros? Como padres, tenemos muchas preguntas acerca del sistema educativo y cómo ayudar a nuestros hijos a que tengan éxito en la escuela. Este folleto presenta una serie de preguntas y sus respuestas.  

    Consejos para las reuniones de padres y maestros. Las investigaciones comprueban que la participación de la familia es esencial para el éxito de los estudiantes. Aquí encontrará ideas de cómo prepararse para las reuniones con los maestros y cómo dar seguimiento a los puntos y acuerdos que se mencionen durante la reunión.

    Ideas y recursos para desarrollar y mantener las buenas relaciones entre la escuela y la familia. Las reuniones entre padres y maestros deben ser enfocadas en el aprovechamiento académico de los estudiantes. Es importante prepararse con preguntas, comentarios y planes para una futura reunión. Esta hoja informativa contiene información para padres, maestros y directores de escuelas. Usted puede ver lo que se puede esperar de cada uno de estos grupos.

    El verano es la estación más cálida del año y una de las mejores épocas para disfrutar al aire libre con la familia. Aquí ofrecemos una serie de actividades y recursos para disfrutar de las vacaciones escolares este verano. 

    Lectura de Verano con La Biblioteca. Lee por diversión y gana premios este verano

    Visita el Taller Creativo de Rockwood

    Minikits de la Biblioteca. Recoge tu minikit en tu biblioteca de tu vecindario

    Gresham y sus alrededores
    Visita los parques de Gresham

    SKIP, Actividades y almuerzo gratis en los parques, Red Sunset, Main City y Nadaka

    Un día de baseball, 17 de Junio de 2022

    Gresham en bicicleta. Paseo grupal en bicicleta. Inscríbete aquí

    Festival Anual de las Artes en Gresham con más de 100 artistas y un rincón para niños

    Películas en el parque en la ciudad de Fairview 

    Películas en el parque en la ciudad de Troutdale

    Visita los parques de Troutdale

    Descubre los parques de Portland y actividades a sus alrededores
    Explora estos parques renovados 

    Mapa de todos los parques 

    Fuentes interactivas. Lista de fuentes y otras áreas de chapoteo para refrescarse este verano en el área de Portland y Gresham  

    Verano gratis para todos. Portland Parks and Recreation está de regreso con un calendario completo para el 2022: conciertos, películas, arte para todos y además almuerzo y juegos gratis para los menores de edad

    Portland Sunday Parkways. Vea aquí las rutas y los dos eventos principales de este año 

    Kids Bowl Free. Los niños juegan boliche gratis todo el verano

    Almuerzos de verano y otros recursos de alimentos
    Almuerzos de verano. Cada verano, Oregón ofrece sitios de comidas de verano para niños de 0 a 18 años de edad. Algunos programas ofrecen actividades de aprendizaje para niños antes y después de las comidas. Hay varias formas de encontrar sitios para comer en su área. Encuentre un sitio cerca de usted enviando un mensaje de texto con la palabra “Comida" al 304304.

    Meals 4 Kids. Este tiene información acerca de cómo recibir comida para ayudar a niños y familias que califican dentro de la Ciudad de Portland. Visite su sitio web para completar el formulario.

    Banco de Comida de Oregón. Encuentre alimentos cerca de usted con este mapa interactivo

    Lista del 2021
    Diversión de verano al aire libre. Vea esta lista con más ideas para disfrutar este verano
     

    En los Estados Unidos, es obligatorio que los niños vayan a la escuela y todos los niños tienen derecho a recibir una educación pública gratuita. Además de las escuelas públicas existen otras opciones, usted puede elegir a qué tipo de escuela quiere enviar a sus estudiantes. Infórmese antes de tomar una decisión; revise las boletas de calificación de las escuelas, visítelas y haga preguntas. Recuerde que los servicios de educación especial pueden variar o disminuir en las escuelas privadas.

    A continuación, una descripción de los tipos de escuelas públicas y privadas en Oregón.

    Escuelas públicas
    Las escuelas públicas son escuelas gratuitas para todos los estudiantes, sean ciudadanos o no. Los estudiantes asisten a la escuela de su vecindario y tienen derecho a mostrar sus preferencias culturales y religiosas; también tienen derecho a un intérprete si  lo necesitan. Las familias pueden solicitar transferir a sus estudiantes a un distrito escolar diferente o a otra escuela dentro del mismo distrito escolar.

    Escuelas públicas chárter
    Las escuelas chárter son escuelas gratuitas y públicas gobernadas por su propia comunidad escolar local que a menudo incluye padres y maestros, en lugar de un distrito escolar. Las escuelas públicas chárter no son privadas ni religiosas. Por ley, las escuelas chárter no cobran colegiatura ni pueden ser selectivas en sus admisiones; cualquiera puede solicitar ingresar, y si el número de solicitudes de admisión llega a rebasar el número de espacios disponibles, se lleva a cabo una lotería para determinar, al azar y sin preferencia, quién será admitido. 

    Escuelas privadas
    Es necesario pagar para que los estudiantes puedan asistir. Muchas escuelas privadas están administradas por iglesias u organizaciones religiosas. Cada escuela privada tiene diferentes costos. Algunas conceden becas o subvenciones para ayudar a los estudiantes a acceder a esa escuela si su familia no tiene suficiente dinero para pagarla. Las escuelas privadas tienen reglas distintas a las escuelas públicas.

    Escuelas en casa o Educación en el hogar
    La escolarización en el hogar es otra opción educativa. En esta opción, son los padres o familiares los que educan a sus estudiantes en casa. Las opciones educativas dependen de los padres, pero aún deben conocer y cumplir con las leyes estatales de educación en el hogar. Cada estado tiene diferentes normas con respecto a la escolarización en el hogar. Los estudiantes que reciben escolarización en casa, pueden tener acceso a clases y actividades en las escuelas públicas.
     
    Diferencias específicas entre las escuelas públicas, chárter y privadas. En está página de Understood.org encontrará información sencilla y concreta sobre las diferencias entre los tipos de escuelas.

    Otros recursos de Opciones de Aprendizaje en Oregón. Este recurso puede ayudarle a asegurarse que su estudiante asista a una escuela aprobada por el Departamento de Educación Pública de Oregón. 
     

    Inscripción para el kínder
    Si su niño cumple 5 años de edad antes del 1 de septiembre, comuníquese con su distrito escolar; los números de teléfono se encuentran al final de la segunda página del volante.

    Si vive en el condado de Multnomah, puede identificar su escuela o distrito escolar enviando el siguiente mensaje de texto: "MYSCHOOL" o "MIESCUELA" al 898211.

    Transición Temprana al Kínder (EKT) 
    Distrito Escolar de Portland

    Consulte con su distrito escolar para las escuelas participantes en el área fuera del Distrito Escolar de las Escuelas Públicas de Portland.  

    Preguntas frecuentes sobre el kínder 

    Head Start (Preescolar)
    Solicitud para el Head Start de las Escuelas Públicas de Portland (Preescolar PPS)

    Guía de recursos para padres sobre la etapa preescolar 
     

    Summer is one of the best times to enjoy the outdoors with your family. Here we offer a compilation of activities and resources to enjoy the summer holiday.

    Free Library Fun:

    Summer Reading!
    Read for fun and to win prizes this summer. Our theme this year is about exploring and getting outdoors!

    Makerspace!
    Teens entering 6th through 12th grade are welcome to come hang out, create independent projects with art supplies, get to know the makerspace equipment, use the tablets and laptops, and more! Or pick up a STEAM-based Makerspace activity minikit at any Multnomah County library. All materials are included. 

    Events & Programs!
    Keep an eye on our Events page for upcoming summer programs for the whole family!

     

    Free activities throughout Multnomah County:

    Fairview’s Flicks in the Park
    Free family movies at Fairview’s Community Park.

    Gresham Arts Festival
    Celebrate the arts at the 20th annual Gresham Arts Festival in downtown Gresham. Featuring artists from the Pacific Northwest, a kids corner, local cuisine, treats and beverages.

    Gresham’s Summer Kids in the Park (SKIP)
    Free activities and lunch in some Gresham parks.

    Interactive Fountains and Splash Pads
    All of Portland’s Interactive fountains should be on by mid-May. Also check out Gresham’s Children’s Fountain

    Kids Bowl Free
    Sign-up your kids for 2 free games of bowling each day this summer at one of the participating bowling centers.

    Parks & Rec
    Visit parks in Fairview, Gresham, Portland, Troutdale and Wood Village. A couple parks we want to highlight are Gabriel Park with its new inclusive playground for all abilities, and Verdell Burdine Rutherford Park with its new renovated playground area. 

    Portland’s Summer Free for All 
    Portland Parks and Recreation is back with a full schedule for 2022 - concerts, movies, performing arts, plus free lunch and play.

    Portland’s Sunday Parkways
    Series of free events opening Portland’s streets to walk, bike, roll, and discover.

    Troutdale’s Movies in the Park
    Family movies shown at Troutdale’s Imagination Station.

     

    Summer lunches and other food resources:

    Free Summer Lunches for Kids
    Each summer, Oregon offers summer meal sites for children ages 1 to 18. Some programs offer learning activities for children before and after meals. There are several ways to find places to eat in your area. Find a site near you

    Meals 4 Kids 
    This site helps qualifying children and families within the City of Portland. Please visit their website to complete the form. 

    Oregon Food Bank 
    Find food near you with this interactive map

     

    Reasonably priced summer fun:

    Come Thru Market
    Open on 1st and 3rd Mondays May-September, this farmer’s market centers Black and Indigenous Farmers and Makers.  

    Farmers' Markets - Multnomah County  
    Who knew an ear of corn or fresh tomato could improve your health, your community and the environment, all at the same time? Buying local foods is a simple way to do all three!

    Ladybug Walks 
    For kids 0-6 and opens on Monday, May 23. Walks are on Monday and Thursday mornings at different locations each week and cost $9 for the first child, $6 for each additional child. Walks feature great age-appropriate environmental science education and kids get to borrow a cute ladybug backpack for the walk.

    Portland Indigenous Marketplace 
    Features art, jewelry, fashion, food, and wellness and is holding several market weekends throughout the summer.

    And take a look at our top 10 from last year for even more ideas!

    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 growing body of research shows that time spent outside is good for you and your family’s mental health and that spending time in nature is a great way to boost everyone’s mood. When you think about it, the human brain is designed for hunting, fishing, climbing trees and collecting food. Humans have, for most of our history, relied on nature and spent most of our time in nature. It’s only “natural” that we would feel at home outdoors! 

    Many studies show that people report feelings of peace, contentment, and belonging when in nature. This might be because nature works to reduce the stress of cluttered and attention-demanding indoor environments. With less to focus and concentrate on, most people can relax their brain and truly destress, unlike when they find themselves in an attention-grabbing environment filled with television, phones, and other media. 

    And let’s not forget spending time outdoors usually involves exercise, which increases blood flow and oxygen through the body and the brain, resulting in an improved mood and more energy. Exercise also increases “happy” hormones, like serotonin.  

    So here are some ideas on how to get outside with your family! 

    Grow or pick food: Plant a vegetable garden in your own space or at a shared community garden. And depending on the season, there are many places in and around Multnomah County where you can go and pick-your-own fruits and veggies to enjoy!

    Bring nature indoors: Collect natural materials (something kids love to do!) and use them to decorate your space. Or find a place to put chairs where you can look out the window and see the sky and trees (great for rainy days!). You can also grow plants or flowers on your windowsill or even watch a video of nature with your family.

    Do outdoor activities: It can be as easy as taking a walk together, maybe with the family dog, or watching the stars after sunset. Maybe eat outdoors (or as Fancy Nancy likes to say, alfresco!). You can also have family exercise outside, by jogging together through a local park, playing tennis at a nearby school or park tennis courts, or doing yoga outside. And if you have a 4th grader in your home, don't forget you can enjoy national parks, lands, and waters for free, for a full year!

    Help the environment: Your family can take a monthly walk where you pick up litter or volunteer with groups who help with conservation or building animal habitats. 

    Notice nature: Again, something kids are “naturals” at (pun intended). Find things you can touch, smell or hear. Maybe keep a family journal of your experiences. Maybe challenge your family to notice up to three things in nature every day! Or maybe try “Forest Bathing” with a local group

    Connect with animals: Watch for wildlife when you are outside. Maybe hang a bird feeder, bat box or mason bee house where the family can watch. Backyard animals are everywhere! Visit a local farm or The Belmont Goats! (Librarian Jen volunteers with The Belmont Goats and they love visitors!) 

    More ideas on why, how and where to get started:

    Also check out our booklist below for titles about the joy of getting outside.

    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.

    Teacher in front of classroom
    Register for Kindergarten by June 1 is an outreach campaign to encourage and support parents to register their child before school offices close for the summer.

    Is your child registered for school? Don’t wait—many schools begin registering for kindergarten as early as January for children starting school in the fall. If your child will be 5 years old by September 1, contact your school district, and register for school! 

    Centennial School District   (503) 760-7990
    Centennial School District - Welcome to Kindergarten Booklet

    Corbett School   (503) 695-3636
    Corbett School - Kindergarten Enrollment

    District David Douglas School District   (503) 252-2900
    It's Time to Register for 2022-23 Kindergarten - David Douglas School District

    Gresham-Barlow School District   (503) 618-2450
    Parent Resources / Kindergarten

    Parkrose School District   (503) 408-2100
    Parkrose School District - Registration

    Portland Public Schools   (503) 916-3205
    Portland Public Schools - Register for Kindergarten

    Reynolds School District   (503) 661-7200
    Reynolds School District - Kindergarten registration

    Riverdale School District   (503) 892-0722 
    Enrollment Options / Options for Enrollment
     

    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.

    For many years, School Corps has offered the Geisel Award winner booktalks as a program in schools. The Geisel Award is named after Theodor Seuss Geisel, or Dr. Seuss, and is awarded by the American Library Association to the most distinguished book for beginning readers. Books that win the Geisel Award are engaging for youth who are just learning to read. The Geisel Award booktalks presented by School Corps introduce students to current award winners and encourage students to get into reading.

    In recent years, educators, parents, librarians, and researchers have brought attention to racist imagery present in many of Dr. Seuss’ books, as well as his own racist beliefs during his lifetime. A paper published in 2019 titled “The Cat is out of Bag: Orientalism, Anti-Blackness, and White Supremacy in Dr. Seuss’s Children’s Books,” assessed 50 of Seuss’s books and found that people of color only made up 2% of characters in his books, and that depictions of people of color represented orientalist and anti-Black beliefs. This paper also brings light to Seuss’s racist beliefs expressed through political cartoons he created. In March 2021, Dr. Seuss Enterprises decided to discontinue the publication of 6 titles written by Dr. Seuss with overtly racist imagery. 

    With this information and with the goal of leading with race, creating a safe and equitable space for students to learn and access books and library resources, the School Corps team has decided to no longer refer to the Geisel award booktalks using his name. We believe names carry power and in promoting his name through this program, we are partially endorsing his messages. The Geisel award booktalks will be replaced with a program called Silly, Fun Books for Beginning Readers. These booktalks will feature books that are diverse, enjoyable for children, and perfect for young readers. 

    Please feel free to contact the School Corps team at lib.school.corps@multcolib.org with questions!

    Sources and further reading:

    The Cat is out of Bag: Orientalism, Anti-Blackness, and White Supremacy in Dr. Seuss’s Children’s Books

    Dr. Seuss Enterprises to Stop Publishing Six Books Due to Racist Imagery 

    Dr. Seuss was racist. Why are we still reading his books? 

    For several years, Multnomah County Library has been working with local authors to share their self-published books via e-book platforms. Through the Library Writers Project, hundreds of books have been added to the e-book collection.

    The library partners with Ooligan Press to publish one Library Writers Project book a year in print. This year, author Kristin Burchell, worked with Ooligan Press on the publication of her book Court of Venom.

    Court of Venom author Kristin Burchell holding the book

    Court of Venom is a fantasy novel about Badriya and her journey in the beautiful oasis city of Aran which lies at the center of the Lost, a desert haunted by ghosts, demons, and witches who prey on unwary souls. 

    Q: What part of Court of Venom was the most fun to write?

    KB: I would have to say the most fun was the interactions between Badriya and the other characters throughout the story. The camaraderie with her and Petra, how they develop their friendship through this fraught place. The relationships between Badriya and the Queen - their back and forth, and then separate from that the relationship with the Queen’s younger sister. There was also a character - a skeleton called the bones, I really loved writing their interactions as well. It was fun to hear what the bones would see because they had seen a lot.

    Q: What inspired the idea of your book?

    KB: Oh gosh, I've been working on this novel for quite a long time! I would start it and then put it away. I would come and go. When I first started writing it I got interested in the idea of poisons. When I was doing research on poisons, I kept finding information and stories around how people could use poisons to enhance their appearance. This was just so interesting to me…So what would be the dynamics that people would use poisonous cosmetics in different circumstances? If there is an assassin, how could they use cosmetics to poison people? People could use cosmetics as poison against each other as well. So what would make this worth the risk?

    Q: What characters in your book are most similar to you and why?

    KB: There’s probably a little bit of me in each character. So there’s Petra who is the best friend and observer and is probably the most like me I would say. She’s just watching all that’s going on and making sense of it all. In Badriya there is some of me. The thought process of how did I get into this situation and how am I going to get out of it? She’s always looking for a different solution or a different path that hasn't been seen yet. Connections are also important to me the same way they are to Badriya. So I would say for sure those two characters the most. I don't feel the furious revenge the Queen feels. As for the two mothers in the story, Solena’s mother and Badriya’s mother, I do feel the protectiveness that they each feel for their daughters. 

    Q: If you could meet one of your characters, what would you say to them?

    KB: I would really like to talk with Badriya’s mother and have a whole conversation on just what drives her and what would it take for her to finally feel happy and satisfied and what is her connection to the desert and to the lost. I’m sure Badriya would love to know what would satisfy her so she can finally be content and happy.

    Q: If you were to write a spin-off about one of your characters, which would you choose?

    KB: My first instinct would be to tell more about the witch's story. Then I’d also want to retrace Badriya’s mother's past. As well as follow up with Najma and her future. 

    Q: Is there something you want people to know before going into the book:

    KB: It was so exciting when the library picked it up as an ebook! And then to watch the process of Ooligan and for it to be traditionally published as a hard copy. There's a whole other element that Ooligan helped me add to it - like the astrology and star signs as I was going through some of the edits. And it was fun to see the constellations take place and form and to really move the book forward. This all just added more layers to the original book. I just appreciate the library being willing to get local writers recognized and out there.

    Read more books from the Library Writers Project on OverDrive and Libby

    If you like Court of Venom, read other recommendations

    Bond project architecture firms welcome teen involvement

    Since Multnomah County voters approved the Library Capital Bond in November 2020, the library has been hard at work with architecture firms to map out the design process for the construction and renovation of the Chapter One libraries. Throughout the process, the library and the firms have been meaningfully including teen voices with the help of two design programs.

    The two programs coordinating teen involvement are Youth Opportunity Design Approach (YODA), and Your Street Your Voice. The YODA team has been working with architecture firms LEVER and Noll & Tam on the design of Albina and the North Portland locations. For the design of the Holgate and Midland libraries, Your Street Your Voice has been working with Bora and Colloqate architecture firms.

    Both YODA and Your Street Your Voice offer teens a paid opportunity to help shape the design process and share what they want to see in their local libraries. The groups center the voice of teens coming from communities that are historically underrepresented in public processes. Through a multi-week cohort program students reflect on space and equity, and the messages that can be received from a space depending on who is considered throughout a design process. They are introduced into architecture as a career, while at the same time shaping library spaces in a meaningful way.

    “As soon as I knew the Capital Bond Project was happening, I was looking for how we could have more youth involvement in these spaces,” says Sara Ryan, teen services librarian.

    Library staff at community event

    Pictured left to right are Sara Ryan (teen librarian), Isy Ibibo (teen librarian), and Cathy Parham (youth librarian).

    The goal of both YODA and Your Street Your Voice is to see what kind of space the teens want to develop. “We work with students who don’t get asked ‘how could you change your environment?’ and this opens and unlocks their imagination. With the intention of the design team using their ideas and informing how the design will be executed, teens feel like we actually do care and want their input,” says Jacquelyn Santa Lucia, co-founder of Your Street Your Voice.

    Your Street Your Voice provides opportunities and programs for students to get paid to learn about design as a tool for racial justice. The organization works with 12 local high schools, and has programs in and out of state. Your Street Your Voice works with primarily Black, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+ youth who live in the neighborhoods of the libraries they are providing feedback on. “All students are experts, so we want to see what they desire to thrive,” says Jacquelyn.

    There has been a lot of engagement from teens in both of these programs. “A lot of the students had thought about place already and what were places that were meaningful to them and where they felt welcome. So we built on this existing interest, and can see that teens are connecting across different schools and cultural backgrounds when they are doing group work,” says Sara.

    To showcase the type of innovative concepts a library could have, the YODA team went on a field trip to the Fort Vancouver Regional Library. “On the way there and back it was a great experience with the kids being happy on their own, making friends and having a good time,” says Isy Ibibo, teen librarian. Teens got to see what a more recently updated library looks like, and gather inspiration for what their library could be. 

    “The teens are concerned about comfortable seating in the library and a space that they could be in all day long and feel comfortable. But they also want a space that feels geared towards social justice and minority communities - BLM and LGBTQ+ rights. I’m very impressed that teens are thinking bigger than just wanting a cushioned chair,” says Isy.

    There are different design teams and architects working with the teens on the projects. Each library is designed with the unique needs of each community and neighborhoods. “The overall approach is to have these teens be reflected in these specific areas, so there is different cultural and linguistic diversity,” says Suzanne Chou, community engagement coordinator with the Library Capital Bond Projects.

    Students are learning project management skills, design principles, community agreements, environmental aspects of developing large buildings, color schemes, space considerations and more.

    One teen shared how learning about architecture inspired him to explore other features of design, including the engineering and mechanics of a building. “This made me think about the concept that everything in the building has something to offer, whether that be functional or aesthetic,” says Theo, junior in high school and participant in the YODA program. 

    Teens are guided through the visual process of design and what architecture looks like. The architecture team shows what the current plan is for teen spaces, how to read these plans and what a 21st century library could look like. 

    “I really liked building with jenga blocks when I was a kid. I would put them to the side and put roofs on, and admire how there was structure, how architecture has to do with it, and how it is supported. From there I started looking more into what an architect was, because I didn't know before. I just liked building and liked the concept of structure and support and design in buildings. Then I learned what an architect meant and that's what I looked into to go forth,” says Marelynn, a junior in high school and participant in the YODA program.

    Youth show design plan for a library

    Marelynn’s school has a work-study program that has allowed her and other teens to look a bit more in depth into specific careers. She has been passionate about architecture for a long time, and expressed her love for this program. “Problem solving is a big part of architecture. It’s all problem solving to get to the big goal you have in the future of the building or project, and even though the building needs to be strong to support everything, the process of design is flexible,” says Marelynn. 

    In the recent Your Street Your Voice cohort, students were able to share their ideas with the design and architecture team as well as key library stakeholders. They described pieces of the library that are important to them, including color preferences, how the five senses can impact wanting to leave or stay at the library, and ideas for how to build community outside of the library— like with a community garden. The teens shared their wish list of rooms for particular interests— a music library, library of games, and even a pets library! No suggestion or idea was too outrageous, as this exercise was an opportunity for teens to think outside the box and discuss what they would like in the library if there were no limits.

    “The built environment is a reflection of the value system. It’s very clear where investments have been put in when you see it in schools and libraries…and libraries are a safe space for a lot of people. They provide safety, security, and wrap-around services. I can't tell you how many times students have said, ‘the library has been the place,’” says Jacquelyn.

    These programs offer hands-on activities for teens, and give young people the time and space to share in the design of the libraries they are a part of. 

    The library is committed to youth informing future library projects, and as projects move forward, opportunities for input will be updated on the Library Capital Bond Projects website. You can also stay up-to-date by signing up for the bond projects newsletter.
     

    How one staff member is taking his lived experience and sharing it with the community

    For many years, the library has been a hub for community members seeking a new job or advancing their career. For Enrique Rivera, a library workforce development bilingual outreach specialist, this work is especially impactful as he gets to share his personal story with people who are incarcerated at Multnomah County Inverness Jail. 

    Joining his county colleague, Carol, Enrique travels to Inverness every week to connect with individuals at the facility, a program conducted in partnership with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. He co-hosts a set of classes to introduce individuals at the facility to library resources, books and teach literacy skills. 

    Enrique Rivera, a library workforce development bilingual outreach specialist

    “For many people, coming to a physical library location is a luxury. So going out to different locations and meeting people who have never even been to the library is a way to connect with the community,” says Enrique. 

    During his visits to corrections facilities, Enrique shares his personal connection to the people he is helping and why he is passionate about the library. He tells them how he used library resources to find a job after he was incarcerated as a young adult. Prior to this, Enrique had never stepped foot in a library. Though he’d signed up for classes at Portland Community College, he needed help fixing up and printing his resume. 

    “I went to Belmont Library and told them I need help with these two things. I printed 30 copies of my resume and started handing it out to any place that would take it,” says Enrique.

    After this experience, Enrique started using the library all the time. He didn't have a personal computer, so he would go to Belmont Library to complete his school work. He became a regular at the Belmont branch and started to keep an eye out for open positions.

    He started applying and was hired a year later to work at Gresham Library as a page— a position that primarily assisted with shelving and checking in materials. During his 11 years at the library, Enrique has worked at almost every branch. In his current position, he shares his journey and inspires community members to use the resources available at the library to find a new career after incarceration.

    “I didn't have big dreams after being incarcerated, but what I wanted was to have a normal job, and for me that was a big thing, to have a sense of normalcy. This is what a lot of folks want. They want a job that is stable and pays a living wage - especially when you’re in this position and have a record, it becomes this past, or something that will prevent you from doing something different. So when they see someone who had a similar experience, they appreciate that and express their appreciation. So now to be able to help people do this, is a way in which I can give back what the library gave to me,” says Enrique.

    The library has an abundance of books, digital materials, knowledgeable staff, online classes, and one-on-one support, that can all be tailored to individual career needs. 

    “Job search has changed a lot over the years and people need a more holistic approach to help them with a variety of needs,” says Lori Moore, a workforce development librarian on the library’s Workplace Team. 

    The library has helped patrons with career resources for a long time, but the dedicated Workplace Team formed as a response to changing community needs during the pandemic. More recently, the team has seen trends change from people who are unemployed to those looking to learn new workforce skills, make a career shift or start a new business. 

    “We've seen more people leave the traditional workforce to start their own businesses, especially women and minorities,” says Tara Nash, small business and entrepreneurship librarian. “We see that small business support and job support both have the same goals of allowing people the opportunity to find economic stability and fulfillment.”

    For small business owners, the library offers free classes for all stages of the small business journey including workshops on business development, strategy, finance and marketing. It also offers personalized small business advice —  a unique service covering things like developing a business plan, doing market research, and connecting entrepreneurs with community partners. 

    In addition to direct career and small business assistance, the library offers GED help, literacy tutoring, technology training, and an abundance of other adult learning classes.

    In terms of future plans for people at the correctional facilities, Enrique hopes to see some more opportunities for them to check out books and fully utilize library resources:

    “There are plenty more things I could say, for instance one of our Indigenous adults was very happy to hear about the library’s services to the Indigenous community. He thanked us for allowing him to come a second time to this class — since there is usually limited room and we offer it first to those who haven't come before — and that he told his family about me and my story because it gave him hope that he too one day could work in a library.” 


    Connect with the Small Business & Entrepreneurship team

    Find Job and Career help
     

    Pages