Camp Fire Columbia is grateful to the David Douglas, Centennial, and Hillsboro School Districts for the opportunity to serve more than 4,334 youth and their families over the past 8 years. Camp Fire is proud of our legacy of service to this community, stretching back to the introduction of the Community School model in these schools. Special thanks are extended to the Portland Children’s Levy and Multnomah County’s Schools Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN) program for expanding the availability of Community School programs across the metro area. As part of the county’s restructuring of the Community School model, Camp Fire is no longer a Community School provider in these districts, but continues to support the efforts of the county to propel underserved youth and their families toward success.
Recognizing that children need stable, supportive homes to be successful in school, Camp Fire’s Community School program coordinated a network of providers to offer wrap-around (education, health, and social) supports to youth and their families. Partners like Oregon Food Bank and Zenger Farms ensured kids and families had access to adequate nutritious food during school, as well as on weekends and during school breaks. Organizations like Chess for Success, Girls on the Run, Saturday Academy, and OMSI connected Camp Fire youth to new passions and sparks. Families gathered each year at events like “Gingerbread Night,” health and wellness carnivals, and pre-kindergarten education programs. The Menlo Park Marimba Band, “Ubuntu,” wowed the crowd at four of our Talent Show events.
Students and families benefited from the program: last year, Camp Fire’s Community School students demonstrated a 14% increase in meeting or exceeding math standards; initial pilot evaluations of academic performance, formed with the guidance of the Gates Foundation, demonstrated that Camp Fire’s Community School students were making greater academic gains over the course of the year compared to their peers not in the program.
Parents and community partners consistently expressed satisfaction with the program, saying:
“I like that they have creative activities which use her imagination. She loves drawing and crafts. She loves learning by doing. Camp Fire provides opportunities to work collaboratively and creatively with hands-on projects. As a parent, I am so grateful for that.”
“I have seen tremendous growth, in terms of leadership and goal setting skills in many of the students who have participated in Camp Fire this year.”(School Principal)
“Camp Fire staff are a visible, positive group of adults at our school. They connect with kids daily and encourage them to not only come to school, but to do their best. Kids are excited to go to Camp Fire at the end of the day. The activities they offer support academic success as well as emotional connection to our school environment.” (School Teacher)
Camp Fire will continue to provide high-quality youth services through our Before & After School, Middle School, High School, and Camp Namanu programs. We thank you for your support during this transition, and for helping us shape engaged, confident, well-rounded youth today who can build thriving communities tomorrow.