Collaboration Office Corner June 2017

It is hard to believe that summer is upon us and that our programs operating part year are winding down their work with children and families and celebrating the exciting gains that children and families have made over the past school year.

We are gearing up for the Summer Institute that will be happening in Albany at the end of the month. This learning opportunity was inspired by our partners at Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education that wanted to create a cross sector learning opportunity to bring together folks who work in Early Childhood for a training that was free to participants and had sessions that allowed a deeper dive on a topic and offered college/graduate credit for participants. We are very excited that the 3 sessions sponsored by the Early Learning Division (School Readiness from emotional intelligence to self-regulation, Toxic Stress and Trauma: Supporting children, families, and systems, and Practice-Based Coaching for Instructional leaders to improve practice and develop systems) are full with wait-lists. Registration closes on June 9th, but there were still a few openings if anyone is interested!

I have only had the opportunity to visit a couple of our programs, but each time I do I am heartened by the incredible work that is happening in the field. The impact made by Oregon Head Start PreKindergarten is evident in the lives we have touched. Congratulations on another year of success.

Feel free to let me know if there are other things you would like to see in this corner.

Respectfully submitted by Shawna Rodrigues, LCSW
Oregon Head Start Collaborations Director

2017 Scholarship Winners!

Congratulations to our 2017 scholarship recipients!

The Oregon Head Start Association is proud to announce our scholarship recipients for 2017. There were roughly 17 applicants for every scholarship we awarded. The applicants had amazing stories that made selecting the winners difficult for the committee. We commend all of our applicants for sharing their stories and pursuing higher education!

Richard C Alexander Early Head Start Parent Scholarship

Every year OHSA awards a $2,000 scholarship to a parent of a child enrolled in Early Head Start. This award is named in honor of Richard C. (Dick) Alexander, business leader and entrepreneur. Dick Alexander had a deep commitment to focusing resources where they can make the greatest difference: early childhood. He was the architect of the Ready for School campaign which leveraged the power of business and civic leaders to secure an additional $39 million in state funding for Oregon Head Start Pre-kindergarten’s most vulnerable children. In 2010, his advocacy resulted in the Oregon Legislature allocating a million dollars to the Department of Education to establish a state-funded EHS program. This placed Oregon as a front runner in developing a state and federally funded system for early childhood services, prenatal to age 5. We are happy to announce Kaela Patterson from Mt Hood Community College Head Start as the 2017 recipient of the Richard C Alexander Early Head Start Parent Scholarship.

Frank Roberts Memorial Scholarships

In addition to an illustrious teaching career, Frank Roberts served over 25 years as a member of the Oregon State Legislature, retiring in August 1993. Senator Roberts is remembered for his skilled service as a leader of the Education and Human Resources Subcommittees and was a leader in establishing state funding for the Oregon Head Start Pre-Kindergarten Program. His dedication to children and families, commitment to the disabled, advocacy for early childhood education and Head Start, and his unwavering commitment to education at every level made him a hero for thousands of Oregonians.

We remember Senator Roberts memory by annually awarding two $2,000 scholarships in his honor. The Frank Roberts Memorial Scholarship for Graduating High School Seniors is being awarded to Adrianna Vaca-Navarro of Hood River. The scholarship for Head Start parent is being awarded to Sarah Mortensen of Neighborhood House Head Start. 

Ken Lyday Memorial Staff Scholarship

Kenneth Lyday was a long-time Head Start teacher and a member of the Oregon, Region X, and National Head Start Association boards. He began teaching at Mt Hood Community College Head Start in 1992 and continued there until his passing in 2016. Ken’s passion for Head Start was apparent to everyone who met him.

We are honored to continue Ken’s legacy by awarding a $2,000 scholarship annually. We are happy to announce Danielle Everson from Mt Hood Community College Head Start as the first recipient of the Ken Lyday Memorial Staff Scholarship.

Congratulations to the 2017 OHSA scholarship recipients!

2 Great Updates

This week has brought two great announcements!

Our own Donalda Dodson, Executive Director of Oregon Child Development Coalition, will receive the Richard C. Alexander Award at the Make It Your Business Luncheon on Thursday, May 18. You can learn more about the award and Donalda on The Children’s Institute blog. Congratulations Donalda!

The other great news is HB 3106 has passed out of the Senate! It’s now off to the Governor’s desk for her signature. This bill was important to us as it “Directs Early Learning Hubs to convene annual meetings between representatives of preschool programs administered by Early Learning Division for purpose of coordinating enrollment of eligible children in programs.” These meetings will allow Oregon to better serve children and families.

HB 3106 A passes out of Committee

HB 3106 A has passed out of the Senate Committee on Education! The next stop is a voting in the Senate (5/15) and then the Governor’s desk if passed. We do not anticipate any opposition to the bill passing. This bill will help to ensure that children and families are enrolled in the state preschool program that best fits their needs.

If action is required to help pass this bill, we will send out a request to our Action Alert Network.

Thank Congress for Supporting Head Start

In the midst of a very tight funding environment, Congress just passed an $85 million increase to Head Start and Early Head Start Funding for Fiscal Year 2017! Take a moment to show your appreciation by thanking your Members of Congress for doing what is right by standing up for the children and families of Head Start. It’s easy and most importantly necessary!

Act now

May 2017 Collaboration Office Corner

The National Head Start Association has announced a unique partnership with This website is intended for individuals to make donations to support specific projects that individual teachers from around the country post. Thanks to PNC (a bank found primarily on the East Coast) Head Start programs have officially been added so that teachers can post projects. Even more exciting is the fact that for the first week the project is posted PNC will match donations dollar for dollar!

The first Head Start teacher in Oregon to post; Mrs. Ramsey from North Central ESD Early Education Head Start (which serves Sherman and Wheeler counties) had her project funded in a number of days. We are thrilled with this result and look forward to other Head Start teachers posting their projects as well!

The Office of Head Start recently held the Leadership Institute in Chicago to discuss and present the new Head Start Program Performance Standards as well as their implementation. During the monthly Director’s webinar (from April 13th) I was able to present some of the valuable clarification offered and questions answered. Here is the link to that webinar:

We continue to focus on Early Learning Partnerships across the state varying from connecting with Preschool Promise and other local providers to better connecting and establishing the work of programs that only offer state-funded Oregon Head Start PreKindergarten with local providers of dually-funded Oregon Head Start PreKindergarten.

The Early Learning Council has created an ad hoc committee that will look more deeply at, and make recommendations on, the proposed Spark (formally QRIS) revisions. We are excited that Pam Greenough Corrie, Director, Mt. Hood Community College Head Start and Sabrina Ersland, EHS Education, Training and Development Coordinator, Albina Head Start applied and were accepted as members of this committee. Their knowledge of Head Start, the ORO system, and current Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) will be a great asset to this committee.
Feel free to let me know if there are other things you would like to see in this corner!

Respectfully submitted by Shawna Rodrigues, LCSW
Oregon Head Start Collaborations Director

Creativity is the mother of innovation

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. If that’s true, perhaps creativity is the mother of innovation. It’s the ‘I can’ perspective that looks beyond any obstacle, any impediment or milestone to see a future of possibilities. Cultivating that perspective early is critical for the development of our confidence as we grow. Obstacles in our path can actually be building blocks if we see them as friend, not foe. We can create conditions that set the stage for healthy intellectual and social-emotional growth for a lifetime. Equipping our children and their families for a climb out of poverty so they can achieve their dreams starts by insuring our staff, volunteers, Boards and Policy Councils receive the tools and encouragement they need to reach a future of unlimited possibility. I can’t shuts the door on innovation. I can opens up a world of possibilities!

The keys to innovation now are the same that in history opened up the corridor to the west and made our little corner of the world famous. This is a place where people use the wind as a form of transportation and energy, where combining resources like water and desert becomes a collaboration that yields a significant harvest. Come to Eastern Oregon where you can climb mountains to see the world from some pretty majestic heights! We plan to put the wind in your sails with ‘Boosting Your Child’s Brain Potential: The 4 Vital Goals of I Love You Rituals’ with Robert Kleng (EOUHS). And we will show how you can scale new heights and overcome obstacles by leveraging natural curiosity and resilience with ‘Possibilities through Partnerships: A Trail Guide to P-3 Alignment’ with Cade Burnette (UMCHS). Together we will show how reaching for innovation will yield peak performance.

Best of all, you will be nestled firmly in the center of our shared service delivery area. We look forward to exposing you to a historical montage that shows the area’s rich cultural history, invite you to the famous Pendleton Underground Tour on Wednesday night that will take you back in history, showing you just how far we have come in terms of equity and early learning, and provide you with a map of many sites and activities you might partake in on Thursday and Friday. We are looking forward to seeing you at our very own OHSA Pendleton Round Up!