Camp Fire Columbia strengthens schools and families through partnership with Multnomah County Schools Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN) to provide Community School services in local Title 1 schools. The program engages youth in a robust after-school program that delivers academic support, engaging activities, and opportunities to learn outside the classroom. Camp Fire’s SUN program also offers family engagement events that are aligned with best practices. The SUN Community School Program augments after-school programming with wraparound supports for youth and their family. Recognizing that children need stabilized, supportive homes to be successful in school, the SUN Community School Program offers educational, health, and social services for children and their families. Camp Fire leverages existing community resources into a network of services that is centralized and highly accessible at a neighborhood school. All three Camp Fire SUN schools partner with the Oregon Food Bank (OFB) to help families with food security; two of our sites, Menlo Park and Mill Park, house full food pantries for any family that needs them.
An independent evaluation of the program, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, found that students in the Community Schools program increased their test scores at a faster rate than their peers, while making significant improvements across core academic areas. This is an achievement we are especially proud of, knowing that we work with the most vulnerable youth in Portland. Camp Fire students also demonstrate significant growth in youth developmental assets, including confidence, motivation, self-efficacy, compassion for others, and a sense of connection with their school and community.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Camp Fire SUN staff create fun, engaging, project-based learning activities for students that include art, science, math, physical activity, and creative thinking. Staff work with students to create goals and build the skills they need to achieve those goals.
- Each Camp Fire SUN Site offers 3-6 different clubs per day for students to choose from. Each site has over 200 students in the program each school year!
- Camp Fire SUN offers 3-4 Family Nights per year. These family nights include Gingerbread Night, Movie Night, OMSI Night, Family Resource Carnival, and Books and Basketball Night. Family events hosted by Camp Fire SUN typically see anywhere from 100-750 attendees.
- Camp Fire SUN partners with local organizations to offer exciting activities such as Girls on the Run, Saturday Academy, Zoo Club, AKA Science, Chess for Success, Soccer Club, and much more.
- During the summer, each of our Camp Fire SUN sites partner with Multnomah County to hold an Early Kindergarten Transition program (EKT). This program brings in 20 new-to-kindergarten students for 2 weeks. This is the very first exposure to school for these students and the program sets them up for success for the regular school year.
- Camp Fire invests in measuring impact using the Youth Program Quality Assessment Tool, a validated evidence-based instrument designed to evaluate the quality of youth programs and to identify staff training needs. We also pay special attention to evaluation data and comments from our youth, parents, and principals, making modifications based on those findings. Additionally, because of our commitment to closing the racial achievement gap, Camp Fire measures the success of students across a variety of demographics, aiming for equal outcomes from all students in our programs.
You can find more information on direct resources for families here.
And information on all of the various SUN Locations here.