Charitable Checkoff Grant 2017

The 2017 Charitable Checkoff Grant Application period is over. These grant funds are provided by Oregon taxpayers selecting Oregon Head Start (write-in code 2) as a recipient of all or part of their tax refund on their state tax form. This unique program provides funding for essential safety and facility improvements, which are not typically funded by Head Start.

In 2017 a single program applied for grant funding. Clackamas County Children’s Commission Head Start was provided funding for phase 3 of a kitchen remodel at their century-old Barlow Center in Canby.  Upon completion of the project, CCCCHS will be able to make nutritious family-style meals on-site for Early Head Start and Head Start children in a kitchen that meets modern health and sanitation standards.

#PreKPay Twitter Chat

Thank you to everyone who joined our Twitter chat regarding pay parity,#PreKPay. If you haven’t signed our petition yet, please take a moment to do so now!

Putting families to work in living wage jobs

Since 1973, Clackamas County Children’s Commission has been proud to provide services to families living in poverty. Currently 628 Head Start and 86 Early Head Start children participate in classroom and home visiting services in 11 locations throughout Clackamas County.  Our mission is to support the growth of healthy children and families, positive parenting and school readiness.

One effort we are particularly excited about is a program called Job Smart.

In 2014, partner organizations from around Clackamas County met to discuss sustainable strategies to move working families out of poverty; strategies that will support long term individual and family well-being, strong communities and healthy children who are kindergarten-ready.   These meetings resulted in a collaboration between Clackamas County Children’s Commission (CCCC), Clackamas Workforce Partnership and WorkSource Clackamas to form a new project called Job Smart.

The project is designed to break the cycle of poverty for low-income working parents enrolled in Head Start, Early Head Start and/or Healthy Families programs by helping them attain full time jobs with better pay and benefits through training and networking support.  Many working parents receiving CCCC services are working minimum-wage jobs with changing schedules and often lack the opportunities and education needed for other options and advancement.

Job Smart parents receive 1-1 support from a workforce advisor employed by Clackamas Community College’s (CCC) Workforce Development Department to help parents assess their needs, supports, strengths and skills.  The advisor then develops realistic employment plans with parents that may include education, training and placement into On The Job Training positions with employers.  Job placement services are also offered.  To assist with progress, motivation and retention, the advisor maintains communication with CCCC’s home visit staff who are already focused on parent relationships and partnerships.    

Enrolled families also meet monthly as a cohort to network, share resources, challenges and success and to hear employment-related and parenting presentations from CCC staff and community members. Childcare and pizza are provided and parents have formed supportive relationships.

In 2016, the Clackamas Workforce Partnership applied to CareOregon for funds to assist with childcare for Job Smart participants and were awarded $94,000 from its community benefits grants program.

Current participants are working toward career-related certificates in a variety of areas, including computer networking, welding, health care, accounting and early childhood education, all while continuing to work and parent young children. They are determined to succeed and to be role models for their children.    

Interview with Ron Herndon

Ron Herndon is an outstanding advocate for Head Start. His advocacy has even been commemorated by having one of four NHSA Awards named after him! We were honored to have him as our keynote speaker at our Fall Conference. He is an engaging speaker with a deep understanding of how systemic racism has impacted education in the US.

We are grateful to have such a compelling advocate as a member!

Thank you to the Children’s Institute for recording this interview!

Combating the Opioid Epidemic Through Evidence Based Home Visiting

Home Visiting Policy Network

Dear Colleagues,

As we all know, MIECHV still must be reauthorized.  Our commitment to seeing that it happens has never wavered and has been strengthened through renewed resources and mechanisms to increase our educational work to stakeholders.  As well, we have all seen that the media is joining our push to get MIECHV reauthorization done.

One of the areas of dialogue that has opened up traction is the opioid epidemic.  Simply stated, lawmakers are being challenged to demonstrate their commitment to combat the national opioid addiction crisis.  The immediate renewal of MIECHV for 5 years would be a fruitful and effective starting point.

Accordingly, we have prepared a brief on the correlation of the MIECHV program and opioid addiction/substance abuse prevention.  The following is an excerpt of that brief:“The opioid crisis in our country is quickly spiraling out of control.  This is mainly due to a disconnection between the science of addiction and the treatment of addiction.  The medical field has identified addiction as a disease and developed drugs to aid in “kicking the habit” but treatment of the disease has not been effectively implemented as a health crisis. In many cases, proper attention has not been given to early detection and the behavioral implications of the addiction cycle.

For the most part, programs and efforts designed to reduce opioid addiction in the United States have largely focused on providing individuals with drug replacement therapy.  Simply swapping out an addicted individual’s drug of choice for an alternative, without the proper corresponding behavioral treatment, has not only proven ineffective in the preventing substance abuse, but has likely contributed to the opioid addiction epidemic.  While traditional approaches may have contributed to the current epidemic, MIECHV, through the implementation of its built-in benchmark and underlying constructs, has quietly and steadily been addressing the illicit drug and substance abuse crisis through maternal and infant health programming with demonstrated reductions in illicit drug use amongst families served.

In addition, reauthorizing the MIECHV program for 5 years with bolstered resources, could prove to be a serious step toward tackling the opioid epidemic.  This is attainable due to the outcome measurements that are embedded in the MIECHV design.  These are known as the benchmark area constructs (constructs) which are used to both guide home visiting models and to evaluate their effectiveness.  The constructs tie MIECHV to evidence based behavioral treatments for substance abuse.  This is done by including elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and motivational interviewing (MI) in the constructs Read More…

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December 2017 Collab Corner

I hope that everyone enjoyed the holidays and is looking forward to the new year and all of the possibility it holds. There are some exciting things coming together for 2018 based on the work between the Oregon Early Learning Division and Oregon Head Start Association. Workgroups established over the summer have continued to meet and information generated from these groups is helping to inform practice and policy in the work that we are all doing. A newer workgroup that has been added this fall is one looking at Contracted slots in Oregon between Head Start programs and the Office of Child Care. If you are familiar with this topic or have questions around it; feel free to contact me or Kelli Walker ( about joining this group, or just drop me an email with your thoughts/questions.

I will be on leave frequently in the coming months and will have limited availability. Feel free to reach out to Michael Connor ( if you have questions relating to Oregon PreKindergarten and Dawn Barberis ( if you have questions on other topics, if she can’t help you- she is great at knowing who can.

I woke up this morning

Last night I was awakened by an alarm about an hour after going to bed. No, this was not an alarm clock. This was my carbon monoxide detector.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible odorless gas that is produced when things burn. I had a fire in my fireplace last night. I had slowly closed the flue as the fire went out and went to bed once I thought the fire had died (that’s an actual photo of the offending ash pile soon after the alarm went off). Without my carbon monoxide detector, I might not have woken up this morning.

I’m thankful that I knew that my fireplace was a source of CO and that I had checked the smoke alarms in my apartment and discovered that they only detected smoke, not CO and smoke. I had purchased and installed a CO alarm.

While I was awake last night waiting for my home to air out and be safe to occupy I did a little research. I discovered that rental properties in Oregon with CO sources have been required to have CO alarms since 2011. My unit did not have the legally required CO alarm installed by the owner. I now know about the law and that it’s my duty to inform the property manager that there was no CO detector in my apartment. It makes me wonder how many other units don’t have the required alarm.

I hope that my speaking up will help to save the lives of others. Be safe. Make sure you have a CO alarm if you have sources of carbon monoxide. Don’t trust that your landlord has installed them.

Stay safe and warm this winter.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Can Be Stopped

November 2017 HS Collab Corner

This past month I had the pleasure of accompanying Micker (Mike) Richardson, the Head Start Collaboration Director for Region 11 AIAN (American Indian and Alaska Native) programs, on a site visit to a couple of Oregon’s Tribal Head Start programs. At Ca-Uma-Wa Head Start we met with Margaret Gunshow, the program manager for Head Start, and the Education Director, Modesta Minthorn-Pinawollenmay. We learned about the strong investment and support from tribal leaders and community members to enhance the work done with children and families. Cradle BoardsOne example of this was some beautiful cradle-boards crafted by Cleo Agnes Dick, an elder with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation; specifically for the Head Start classrooms.

At the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, we met with Cheryl Tom, who oversees the Head Start program, and was quick to invite her content area managers so that they could share more with us about their work and the uniqueness of the supports they provide. We also learned about a generous gift of regalia from a member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs to assure that each child had an item to wear for a Pow-wow that was occurring later that week. The work of these programs is vital to children and families and the connection between the priorities of the tribes and the goals of Head Start for children and families was clear. It was a first step in continuing to build a meaningful relationship with these valuable providers in our state.