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Please say “I saw it inWillamette Kids and Family.”

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ello Willamette Valley! Hi friends! As we wind up the school year, I always take a chance to reflect on the year, prepare for summer months, and consider any changes I may want to make for the upcoming year.

May/June 2018 My relationship with my kids schooling is pretty PUBLISHER common, I think- there’s good and there’s bad. Wins Yvette Tripp and some concerns, and I breathe a big sigh of relief when the school year comes to a close. We made it!

Above all else- I love all my kids teachers. Every single one, no matter what, because I know there’s no way on earth I could effectively commit to teaching. For this issue, I visited with local teachers and asked them to open up about what we could do to make their lives easier. Hearing the passion in their voices, and the hope and genuine love for our kids really put things in perspective for me. It’s a partnership between parents and teachers and one of the most important ones we will have in the span of this lifetime. Sending out big hugs to all you teachers! We respect and appreciate you! I also learned about a mom who is creating a better future for our kids by championing a cause close to her heart; art. And a mom who is making a difference to kids all over Oregon with her work for the organization FACT Oregon by helping parents create IEP’s that work. One of my favorite partners Early Learning Hub contributed a fun family STEM activity for you, too! Whether you’re a homeschooling parent, or a parent who wears pajamas in the drop off line- we are all in this together. Teachers, counselors, non-profits and parents, raising Oregon’s future, hand-in-hand, one day at a time. Here’s to us! ( And to summertime right around the corner. :) Everyone, breeeathe!)

Yvette 5


EDITOR Yvette Tripp

GRAPHIC DESIGN Yvette Tripp ADVERTISING Yvette Tripp 307.797.6730

Willamette Kids & Family PO Box 266 Midwest, Wyoming 82643 Willamette Kids and Family is a free community bi-monthly publication. We are dedicated to being a central hub for information in the Salem - Keizer area, by providing a variety of current news and resources to help local Oregonians care for their families. We promote neighborhood family-centered businesses by increasing their visibility within their target market. Willamette Kids and Family promotes peace and prosperity and never publish any information that could be construed as harmful or libelous. We never discriminate based on race, sex, religion or favorite brand of macaroni and cheese. No content may be reproduced without written permission of the editor. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved

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How to

help your kids navigate stress, mental health and big feelings. by Jenifer Trivelli M.S.

Humans are experiencing stress like never before in our history, and our children are no exception.

much discomfort for the kids and teens entrusted to our care. One of the biggest mistakes parents can make is jumping to fix our kid’s big feelings of upset or worry. Seeing them in psychological pain activates the protective regions of our brains (hello, Mama/ Papa Bear!).

The CDC reports that 13%–20% of children living in the US experience a mental disorder in a given year. Parents sometimes go to great lengths and stress themselves looking for solutions to their child’s distress. Other times, we may feel crippled by the weight of the challenges, or feel blocked in our ability to help by our own stress, challenges, or lack of knowledge.

We may offer comfort food, technology for distraction, or make the person or thing that caused the upset go away. While none of these are inherently bad, they don’t teach what to do the next 587 trillion times they’ll feel that way over the course of their life. This becomes exhausting for parents, as we often find ourselves walking on eggshells to avoid triggers of our child’s anxiety, rage, or upset.

What can we do within our own homes to bolster our children’s resilience and mental balance? Let’s begin with a deeper understanding of how we’re built to manage stress. The human nervous system is designed to handle short bursts of stress - as one needed to escape danger as a cave dweller long ago. We are not designed for on-going, long-term stress that we now experience daily. There is much we can do to aid our systems in this process and avoid the build-up that leads to such

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But there’s another way. A way to personally empower our kids to take the controls back over their experiences in life. It begins with shifting focus from the outside - to the inside.


When we focus on the outside cause or trigger of our emotional upset, we naturally expect that it must change before our discomfort can go away.

You can’t lead a full, healthy life if you continually escape, avoid, or ignore experiences. But when you bring the focus inside, you bring the point of control back to you. When we focus inside on our emotional experience, we put the solutions for feeling better within our control. Let’s explore what that looks like. In the school anxiety example, focusing on the internal experience could mean guiding your child to notice what it feels like in their body when they feel anxiety thinking about school. Where does that emotion live? Invite them to notice what’s happening in their belly, their heart, hands and feet. What sensations are there? Is it warm, hot, or cold? Fluttering or heavy? Moving or still? And then once you’re able to identify the physical experience of discomfort, you can invite your child to focus on things that help them feel comfortable: the feel of your arm around them, the contact their body makes with the floor or chair, their favorite blanket.

Notice how this shift in focus affects the intensity of their emotional experience. This is an example of an exact skill that will help them when you’re not around to fix the outside problem for them. It helps their thinking brain work better so they can creatively navigate challenges that come up in their every day life. Noticing the physical components of emotional experiences is just one tool you can use to invite your child to focus “in here” first. Listen to your own ideas about how to help them, drawing on skills you use to manage your own big feelings. Want more ideas? Check out Peanut and the BIG Feelings: A Guidebook for Children and Jamie’s Gift: A Young Teen’s Guide to Fears, Worries, and Other Life Challenges, available on Amazon and


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Please say “I saw it inWillamette Kids and Family.”

When my husband and I decided to homeschool our kids, our eyes were bright with promise, and our souls were alight with so much hope and big plans for our little crew. His eyes may have been a little brighter than mine, actually- because he “got” to go to work every weekday morning. He would longingly look at me and the kids, like he was sad to go, but I was secretly convinced that he dropped to one knee outside the front door every morning, with his fist pumped and a great big “YES!”. My decision to homeschool came when I was laid off from my medicore job, and I had extra time to consider my options. Losing my paycheck was uncomfortable, but with tight budgeting, we could make it. I asked my older kids how they felt about it and the reactions couldn’t have been more mercurial. “Sweet! I get to sleep in!” was my middle child. “Mom. What about P.E? I was supposed to take shop class next year. I don’t want to be stuck at home here with these two!” My oldest son, bless his heart, was not going to jump on the happy homeschool bandwagon. After a lengthy discussion, it was obvious that his reasons were valid, and since he was flourishing in school, we felt that as a 6th grader, he pretty much knew what he wanted, so he stayed in public school, and continued to do really well. The first few months were hard, I won’t lie!

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I felt completely in over my head, and it seemed that the more i read online about how to homeschool- the more it seemed to overwhelm me and fill me with doubt. My friends peppered me with questions they had time to think up while their kids were gone to public school. “Aren’t you worried they will miss out?” “Homeschooled kids are all kind of weird, no? With bad haircuts and courdoroy pants?” and my all time fave- “Are you CRAZY?” Needless to say, I didn’t find a whole lot of support in those early days. But eventually, things swung back my way as some sort of door prize for continually showing up and sticking it out that first lonely year. I found support with a group of homeschooling moms and it made all the difference in the world. I was finally able to manage our schedule in a way that allowed for more free time, and encouraged my kids to work through their curriculum efficiently so that they could enjoy the earned downtime. My daughter mused out loud about how spectacular it was that she no longer had to lay her head on the desk, waiting for her classmates to finish their work, and she would often complete a full day before lunchtime. Early into the second year of homeschooling, my husband started his own business and was able to work from home most days. I know how fortunate we are, and that not everyone has this kind of lifestyle. Our schedule became a lot more fluid and flexible, and I was so thankful that we weren’t attached to a typical school day schedule. Being able to take off to the


Portland Zoo to learn about genus and species and families, was better than looking at pictures and charts in a textbook, any day. But glamorous, Lemur looking, zoo-filled days aside, my reasoning for homeschooling my kids wasn’t quite as warm and fuzzy. My 3rd grader, who loves to dawdle and gaze out the windows so intently sometimes that he forgets to breathe, and sticks his pencil up his nose, and folds his papers 16 times before turning them in, had struggled for two years in the traditional classroom. It wasn’t that he was naughty, his teachers had complimented him on his manners from day one. It was just that he “seemed distracted”. He was my “easiest kid” so I was surprised to be called in to speak with his teacher. “Is he misbehaving?” I asked. “No.” “Is he grasping the concept?” I asked. “Oh yes!” she replied. “He’s very bright. He just can’t seem to settle in.” It seemed that every conference was the same. We met with a team. We considered an IEP. My little goofy nerdlet continued to pass his tests, but still somehow concerned

every adult around him. He seemed perfectly content, but I worried daily about whether or not he would make it through his elementary career. Let me say this. I didn’t decide to homeschool because I felt like the teachers were inept. Let it be known that I would give my left kidney to anyone taught my little darlings. And while I didn’t realize it at the time, the benefits of homeschooling my kids really works for my family, and suddenly there are benefits I didn’t even consider. I get to choose the things that influence my kids. I get more time to instill the values I feel are important, and more control over the values that I don’t. While we aren’t necessarily religious, per sewe do believe deeply in our own family code and our values. It’s amazing how much I can influence my kiddos just while we are struggling through jr. high math. ( Trust me, we pray a lot- it’s a struggle!) I know that homeschooling isn’t for every one, but I know it’s for us. For now anyway. Sincerely- a Salem mom and homeschooler.


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May 4

May 14

7:30 pm Albany Civic Theater presents the classic tale, Annie. Performances: May 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 13(m), 17, 18, 19, 20(m), 24, 25, 26 at the Albany Civic Theater 111 1st Ave W, Albany, Oregon 97321

It’s kid pricing for all! $2.50 for kids and adults alike. Come enjoy games and food!

Albany-ACT presents “Annie”

May 8

Salem- Kid Priced Tickets at Ticket to Play Board Game Cafe

May 12

Salem- Sheep to Shawl

Salem- Free Irish Dance Lessons

6:30pm Looking for a fun way to exercise and meet people? First class is free! No partner or experience needed. VFW Hall 630 Hood St NE

10am-4pm FREE! Back for it’s 33rd year, Sheep to Shawl includes blacksmithing, flintknapping, and childrens activities. Come pet the animals, learn some skills and have fun with us! See our ad pg 15.

May 8

May 12

Salem- Apocalyptica - Plays Metallica By Four Cellos Tour

Salem- March for Babies

9am March for Babies® is a day for everyone. We remember those babies we lost. We celebrate every baby. Families, businesses, and volunteers take part in March for Babies, March of Dimes biggest annual fundraising event. Tickets can be found on the website. Salem Health 755 Mission St SE, Salem, OR 97302-6211

May 8 at 7:30 PM - 9 PM Elsinore Theatre presents Apocalyptica, the Finnish cello heavy metal band that have sold more than 4 million albums. Elsinore Theatre 170 High St SE, Salem, Oregon 97301

May 8

May 15

Salem-Card Club

1 pm or 6:30pm 2ND TUES. | 1PM OR 6:30PM Share ideas, try new products, and learn the latest trends in stamping and mixed media techniques to personalize your cards. This is a recurring class. Parents must accompany kids. Craft Warehouse 3930 Rickey St SE

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Salem- Two-fer Tuesday and Toddler Bounce at SuperBounce 10:00 am Toddler Bounce 12pm Open Bounce Buy one hour and get one hour bouncing for free! 3160 Blossom Dr. NE


May 18

May 22

Salem- Food Truck Frenzy

Celebration of the Arts at Abiqua Academy

5pm-9pm Come support the Humane Society and enjoy delicious food in the process! Join us at the shelter for this family/Dog friendly event at the Humane Society! Tons of Food Trucks, with a variety of foods for all palates. Food Truck partners donate tips to support pets in need. 4246 Turner Rd SE, Salem, OR 97317 Find out more on our website.

6 pm- FREE family-friendly event celebrating children and art! Enjoy an “art walk” featuring Abiqua students from Pre-K through middle school. Student musical groups including choir, orchestra, and jazz band will perform. Kid-made items available in a silent auction. Meet our teachers, explore our classrooms, and see how the arts are honored at Abiqua. 6974 Bates Road S. Salem, OR 97306. T: 503.399.9020

May 19

May 27

Salem-Firearm Safety

Salem- Pop Culture NW

2pm-3pm Program designed to take the novelty away from firearms. Basic Safety will be covered. Recommended age 5 and up. Parents must attend with child. Free class but you must register. Brought to you by Kids S.A.F.E Foundation and Krav Magna 2060 Vista Avenue SE

12pm Toys, Comics, Video Games, Cosplay, Movies and more! The best geek related swap meet around, vendors, artsis and a huge free play video game area. Salem Scottish Rite Center- 4090 Commercial St SE


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June 1

Salem-PALS Meet Up Group

1pm- PALS Meet-Ups is a pilot program with Pregnancy After Loss Support to connect moms trying to conceive, pregnant, and parenting after loss. To learn more visit: Please contact Kathryn at

June 2

Keizer-Take Flight Event for Boys

11:30-4pm Awesome event for boys, Kindergarten through 8th grade and the supporting man (Dad, Gpa, mentor, leader, etc.) in their life. BBQ Lunch and paper airplane competitions. $15 per person, $30 per family Dayspring Fellowship Gym 1755 Lockhaven Dr NE, Keizer

June 8

Salem-On Your Feet Friday

6pm- On Your Feet Friday! Free community series brought to you by Gallagher Fitness Resources. Discover new places and have fun. Each month includes different checkpoints. Gallagher Fitness Resources 135 Commercial St NE

June 9

Salem- Sylvan Open House

12pm-2pm Come find out more about fun camps coming up, with introductions to either reading, writing, math, or study skills. By teaming up with South Salem Shao-Lin Kempo next door we provide a Karate & K’nex camp to ensure that

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students will exercise their bodies as well as their minds. Sylvan Learning Center of Salem 4555 Liberty Rd S Ste 180 Contact us at (503) 363-2996 or email

June 10

Salem-Willamutt Strut

8am- 1pm Family-friendly, group-friendly, and dog-friendly event. As an untimed event, WillaMutt Strut is perfect for anyone at any level of fitness. Get signed up at our early bird rate of $30 (includes a cotton tee and race swag) on our website!

June 10

Salem- FREE Spring Concert

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM Hosted by Salem Community Chorus Performing Broadway favorites, including Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, the Wiz, West Side Story, State Fair, and The Music Man. Loucks Auditorium Salem Library 645 Liberty St SE

June 15-17

Salem- JBF Consignment Event

12pm Shop, Sell & Save at Just Between Friends Salem. 50-90% off retail at Salem’s best locally-owned consignment event. Scottish Rite Center 520 Lancaster Dr. NE,

June 16

Salem- Corvettes by the Carousel 9am- 3pm Hosted by Willamette Valley Corvettes, come check out the sweet rides at the Carousel!


June 23

June 25-28

Salem-Root Beer and Braids

Albany- South Albany Basketball Camp June 25-28, four-day event that

10am-12pm Spend some quality time with your Little Angel practicing some basic tricks to manage her lovely but unruly locks! Take on a ponytail and learn a basic braid- She will love you for it! Come enjoy being a dad with activities, a keepsake photo and special desserts. Tickets available on our website. $40 for 1 adult and 1 child. 1724 Center St NE, Salem

will include a morning session (Boys AND Girls) from 9:00 am - 11:00 am for INCOMING 2nd-5th graders, and an afternoon session (Only Boys) from 12:00pm 2:30pm for INCOMING 6th-9th graders. Our Camp Director will be accompanied by the entire Rebels coaching staff and Varsity basketball program for instruction, drills, games, and competitions. Camp Tshirt, prizes/drawings, and a popsicle feed and awards at the end of the week based on effort and sportsmanship! For more info email Tim Matuszak (tim.matuszak@ South Albany High School 3705 Columbus St SE, Albany, Oregon 97322

June 25-29

Salem- Karate & K’nex Camp

1pm- Sylvan Learning Center has teamed up with South Salem Shao-Lin Kempo to create a camp that exercises your body and mind! Cost: ost for the camp is $300.00. Students will work on basic skills and get a T-Shirt & White Belt from ShaoLin and from Sylvan, a K’nex (503) 363-2996 or email sylvan0112@

June 29-July 1

Salem- World Beat Festival

The 21st annual World Beat Festival is Salem Multicultural Institute and World Beat. Experience world customs, traditions, ethnic foods, crafts, demonstrations, children’s activities, parades, and dragon boat racing! Help us kick off World Beat on Friday, June 29th in the Amphitheater from 5:0010:00 pm for some live music, food and fire dancing! Riverfront Park 101 Front St

June 25- June 28

Salem- Sign Language Day Camp

8:30am-4pm A language enriched recreational and educational day camp for 6 to 15 year old youth. This camp brings together campers who are deaf and with those who are not. It’s a great opportunity to experience a new language, strengthen bonds, and make new friends. $175 includes daily lunch. More info on

Have an event you would like to share?

June 25

Salem- Camp Paw Paw

WHS offers several session of Camp Paw Paw, a week of engaging lessons, exciting games, and plenty of hands-on animal interactions that encourage learning and helping your community! Grades 1-6. Camp runs through August and fills up quickly. Cost: $190 - Includes all camp supplies, a camp t-shirt, and take-home projects! Register online.

It’s FREE!

Submit it via our website or email me at Yvette


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Salem is blessed to have an amazing library system. Continue your education this summer by utilizing their vast offering of storytimes, fun events and performances. This information was collected from their website and may be subject to change. Please visit their website for up to date and more detailed information.

I​ nfants and toddlers Storytime 11:00 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in Story Room A- Perfect for babies through toddlers age 2 ½ to enjoy with their grownups.

​ amilies and all ages F Bedtime Storytime 7 p.m. on Tuesdays in Story Room A Children of all ages bring, your grownup and join us for 30 minutes of stories, songs, and movement.

Toddler/Lapsit Storytime

Tiny Tots Playtime 11:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wed & Fri in Story Room B- Open play time with interactive toys and board books for babies through toddlers age 2 ½ and their grownups.

Fridays 11:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m. Lapsit and Toddler Storytimes are just right for parents with babies and toddlers through age 2 ½ to enjoy together. Phone: 503-588-6315

Tinker Tech Time

Brainy Babies - Olé Bebé 1:30 p.m. on Wednesdays/miércoles Story Room A-Scientists have discovered that learning multiple languages is best when started during infancy. Babies from birth through 18 months, bring your grownups to our bilingual baby time. Grownups do not need to speak Spanish to participate.

3:30 – 5:30 p.m. Fridays in Story Rooms A&B, Floor 3. Library card required. An afterschool drop-in program. Kids in grades 2 - 5 with an adult are invited to check out Tinker Tech kits every Thursday afternoon for use in the library. There are a limited number of kits available and are first-come, first reserved.

Read to a Pet

Los científicos han descubierto que aprender múltiples idiomas se empieza mejor durante la infancia. Los bebés de entre el nacimiento y 18 meses son invitados a traer un adulto a Cuentos Bilingües para Bebés todos los miércoles a la 1:30 p.m. Los adultos no necesitan hablar ingles para participar.

1-2:30 p.m. | Second and Last Saturday of the month | 3rd Floor Children’s Area A relaxing, non-threatening way for young readers to improve their reading skills. Visiting dogs and cats have been trained and certified as therapy animals by Paws for Love and are mellow and friendly. Sign-ups are not necessary.


Family Performances

Preschool Storytime 10:15 a.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays Story Room A- Interactive stories, songs, and movement for children ages 2 ½ to 6 and their grownups.

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Youth Services offers periodic free high quality professional performances for families during the school year. Check our website for more info.


Monthly Lego Parties

2-3:30 p.m., 3rd Saturday of the Month | Story Rooms Floor 3 The Legos are provided, so families only need to bring their imagination for this unstructured creative exercise for ages 4 and up.​

Summer Reading Club

The Summer Reading Club is an incentive-based program designed to encourage kids, teens, and adults to continue reading throughout the summer. Registration opens online and at the library June 2018.

Teen Scene

Found on floor one of the Main Library, the Teen Scene provides services for teens from 5th grade completion to the summer after high school completion (approximately 11.5–18 years old). Teens are encouraged to visit and: -Study at one of the tables or in the Group Study area. -Browse and check out books, music and magazines. -Borrow an Activity Box. Each box includes instructions, samples, and all the supplies needed to make a project. Teens keep what they make and return the kits for others to use. -Use a Library laptop* or free WiFi access. -Use the gaming systems* -Ask the friendly staff to help guide you to the perfect book. -Participate in programs and activities throughout the year. * Salem Public Library card required books, computer labs, meeting rooms, study areas, homework help, multimedia collections, online resources, and activities for all ages. Monday CLOSED Tuesday 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m. Wednesday 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m. Thursday 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m. Friday 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Saturday 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Sunday 1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.


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12things your kids’ teachers won’t tell


Socialization skills are HUGE. Have conversations with your children, read to them, and socialize them with other children. Kindergarten Teacher

When a parent has a concern, they can be kind in the presentation. We want parents to be happy and when all we hear is complaining, it makes what we do even harder. We need to hear what we are doing is right, just as much as the kids do. Director for Early Childhood Education

We hate testing too. Fourth Grade Teacher

Homework is so kids can practice skills. We assume you already showed mastery of those skills. Help them, don’t do it for them. Junior High Teacher

Please, please, please... Read. Read. Read. Your kids will benefit more from reading than anything I can ever teach them. First Grade Teacher

Communicating by email is much more efficient and clear than by phone. This is especially true as phone calls are hard to make during the day. Middle School Teacher

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Children need to understand that they will sometimes be required to work with others who are different from them. -We don’t need to like a teacher to learn from that  teacher. We don’t need to like our classmates to treat them with kindness and respect. -Working as a team is not always easy, but it is the best way to learn. Children also need to understand that learning is not always easy. It takes hard work, persistence, and patience. Ask questions, don’t be afraid to fail, and don’t give up on yourself or the teacher. If parents live these lessons at home consistently, their children will be more than ready to learn in school.

Kids lie. Third Grade Teacher

If you said itWe know a-a-a-all about it.

retired, 34-year veteran teacher, grades 6-12

Teaching your child to be a productive world citizen is our job, not giving her a “A” so she can have good self esteem.

Second Grade Teacher

Middle School Teacher

I teach in an area with a very under served and impoverished population, where drugs and unemployment run rampant. If they (parents) only knew one thing, it would be that spending time with their kids, without distractions like technology, means the world to them. Share a hobby, make a meal, play a game, read a book, even if only for a night a week. This is something that has truly changed for ‘kids these days’. They are shown daily that they’re not valued when they are ignored, or placated by technology.  Sixth Grade Teacher


Check the online grading system before asking me about their grades. We will teach you how to use it if you ask. Middle School Teacher

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Planning a successful IEP begins with being prepared. If you’ve ever sat through an IEP meeting, you understand how very frustrating it can sometimes be. Even with the most well-meaning, experienced, and adept teachers and team, it can be overwhelming to communicate your child’s particular needs in a way that will be clear, concise and easy to understand. Bridging the gap between expectations and abilities can often seem like an uncrossable chasm, but if you’ve ever been fortunate enough to find the balance with a well written and closely followed IEP- you know that all the hard work is rewarded with a happier child, a happier teacher, and a happier you. I recently spoke with FACTOregon, about how to best help parents get the most from their IEP meetings. They provided me with some stellar advice.

Create a One Page Profile- this is the per-

While the IEP is just a part of parenting a child with a disability, it is an important one. Being prepared ensures a better outcome for all. While exploring the FACTOregon website to learn more, I found a treasure trove of information! From a toll free helpline 24 hours a day / seven days a week, to online training modules in English and Spanish, to One Page Profile Templates, a gargantuan list of resources, and more. And the best news is... They are contracted by the Oregon Department of Education and visit the Salem/ Keizer area during the school year to conduct no-cost, in-person training for parents in need of their services.

fect opportunity to share your child’s successes, strengths and gifts. A well thought out bulleted list of what works and what doesn’t, creates a cohesive action plan between you and your child’s teacher, ensuring that everyone is on the same page during the meeting and in the days to come. By writing down your input/concerns and remedies, you and the team can stay focused on the concerns and the appropriate ways to resolve them.

In fact, in 2012, FACT was named Oregon’s parent training and information center by the US Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs.

They even have a plethora of sample “One Page Profiles” on their website to help guide you in creating your own. Creating a One Page Profile utilizes a process called person-centered planning. By keeping your focus, with your child at the center of decisions, you can implement your vision of the future for your child.

They are one of only a few non-profits using a parent-led, family-to-family grassroots approach with focused work in three areas: expanding awareness, growing community, and equipping families.

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Through services created “by families, for families,” they have helped thousands of families each year navigate barriers, create a culture of inclusion, and demonstrate that a whole life is possible.

The outcome is families with high expectations for their child, and a vision for the future where all communities are accessible, welcoming, and embrace that disability is natural.

Example of a person-centered, one-page profile. Aidan’s Strengths/Gifts/ Capacities - Talented Artist - Empathetic - Collaborates well with others - Excellent with technology - Smart and curious - Good at memorizing facts

- Tenacious and hard working - Good at utilizing resouces - Comes up with interesting and creative ideas and solutions - Has a good sense of humor - Likes playing jokes

What works well for Aidan

What doesn’t work for Aidan

- technology ( calendar/ schedule, note taking - Structure/Pattern - Clear Expectations - Step by step directions ( written, verbally to clarify) - Time to process - Explicit transition periods - Asking for his input - multiple ways to learn - inviting him into group activities & conversations

- using exclusively verbal instructions - inflexible deadlines - Feeling rushed - Overly loud environment - Competition - feeling like he is getting interrupted - A high focus on letter grades - Calling on him when he doesn’t raise his hand


Our Vision/Hopes/Dreams for Aidan - Establishing quality, bonded friendships - Ability to enjoy interacting with/collaborating with peers, ( more fun than stress) - Establishing a learning process that supports life-long learning - Gaining prerequistite knowledge to pursue his own dreams and goals for life as an adult. - Earning a high school diploma with the ability to continue to to college if he desires.

For more tips on how to plan a successful IEP:  Get in touch! Support line: 503-786-6082


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One mom’s quest to bring art instruction back to Salem-Keizer elementary schools Salem mom and educator, Laura Mack,

has a problem. A big problem. So big, in fact, that she isn’t the least bit shy in telling everyone about it. She even gave a TED talk about it, recently. It’s that big. As a local mom, college educator, and artist, Laura is raising awareness about the lack of, and need for- elementary school art instructors. I found Laura’s mission on facebook while looking for local, relevant information for Willamette Valley parents. Intrigued, I looked into her message and knew it needed to be shared far and wide. I contacted Laura to find out more and here’s what she had to say. ME: Recently you gave an engaging talk at the Salem TEDx talk forum about the lack of art instructors in Salem schools; What prompted you to bring that information to us? LAURA: I did the TED talk to raise public awareness. For Oregon students, art education access is based on luck, location, or privilege. My kids get it. After all, their mother is an artist. But because I know this inequity exists and because I know art education matters, I am driven to do something. The TED talk was advocacy. Another approach I took was just as scary to enact, but a bit more creative. I projected the words, “This School Has No Art Teacher. Why Not?” on elementary schools at rush hour. That action/art installation was a direct result of creative thinking: the very skill we need to be teaching.

ME: Creative thinking, indeed. I can see you feel VERY strongly about this, which makes me wonder; What are the benefits of teaching art classes to elementary, middle school and high school kids? LAURA: Creativity is the main reason. Creativity is crucial to prepare students for an unknown future career, lifestyle, and environment. Our kids need it, but so does our community. James Haywood Rolling, Jr. from Syracuse University writes that “Art and design practices are an engine for innovation.” The creative skills taught in art education fuel our kid’s development, their current and future happiness, and our community’s future growth. This skill connects academic skills and soft skills. Observation, critical thinking, perseverance, trying things out, looking for alternatives to problems, and refinement. Not to mention the fringe benefits that come along with weekly art lessons. Higher academic engagement and the self expressive, confidence building, and calming influence of art making as a preventative and supportive tool for at risk and high trauma populations. Innovative collaborations like Seattle’s Creative Arts Initiative, the Lawrence Public School takeover in Massachusetts, and Harvard’s Project Zero have done the research and collected the data. ME: Sounds like we most certainly need to bring art instruction back to our school kids. In a perfect case scenario, what could we expect for our children attending local public schools? 

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LAURA: Best case scenario? One weekly art lesson taught by an art education professional in grades K-8. (Art teachers and electives are at all high schools.) Lessons would run over multiple weeks to allow for incubation time, multi-step processes, revision, and critique: all important to creative development. Many projects would be woven (integrated) with grade level curriculum.  ME: Sounds feasible and attainable. Do you happen to have ideas on how we would go about reaching those goals? LAURA: In Oregon, rehiring art teachers is a very long term goal. With Measures 5 and 50 and increasing PERS payouts, we never fund schools adequately. We know what our schools need, we just can’t get there. And why prioritize art funding when Oregon is already struggling with the 5th highest class size in the nation? But Salem Keizer is developing a systemic art education approach within these limits. The long term goal is weekly lessons taught by classroom teachers and supported by teaching coaches. This relies not on more funding, but on prioritizing art training using systems already in place. In the short term, they are expanding Art Literacy (a grassroots, volunteer driven program currently underway in three Salem-Keizer elementary schools) and supplying “art box lessons” to schools waiting to initiate the program.  ME: Laura, I appreciate your dedication and your bringing our attention to this. I know that you have started a facebook page called SK Art that parents can access for more information, but are there any tips and suggestions you can give me now about how we can help bring art instruction back into our schools? LAURA: Most definitely. I’ve made a list.

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1. Write your legislator to demand art instructions in our schools.

2. Speak at a School Board meeting about prioritizing art education within our elementaries.

3. Call your local school and ask how they teach art.

4. In Salem Keizer, volunteer at a

school adopting Art Literacy next year. Outside of Salem Keizer, start your own Art Literacy Program! We freely share our lesson plans from the past 4 years.

5. Finally, donate to a district art

supply fund. In Salem Keizer, donations go to the K-12 Office for Art Support and Supplies. Find out more about this initiative by visiting the facebook page: email: Laura is an artist, educator, and art education advocate. Her work includes mixed media collages, paintings, and drawings. At Chemeketa Community College, she teaches foundation art and creativity. She also coordinates and teaches a volunteer-driven Art Literacy program at Salem Heights Elementary School. She is a member of Foundations in Art Theory and Education (FATE), coauthor of Art for Everyone, and Salem TEDx speaker. Laura lives in Salem with her husband and her two sons. Photo courtesy of Kimberly Seabury,



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Family Science & Engineering invites educators, engineers, university science and engineering students, community youth leaders, and parents to inspire the next generation of critical thinkers and problem solvers with exciting, hands-on activities and events for elementary-aged children and adults. Read on for a couple fun activities you can do at home with your children.

Activities found in Jackson, Mia. Family Engineering: an Activity & Event Planning Guide. Foundation for Family Science and Engineering, 2011.

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To order the book and kits available contact Family Science & Engineering at (503) 245-2102 or visit

Here are a couple fun activities to do at home with your children:

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Helpful Links Navigating through all your education options can be overwhelming. Here are a few links to help get you started.

Homeschooling Information: (Facebook group too)

Applicable Laws:

Oregon Department of Education

Charter Schools Information:

Salem/Keizer School District


Private Schools Listings:

Online Schools Information:

School Finder html

Public Schools Report Cards

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Please say “I saw it inWillamette Kids and Family.”

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Profile for Willamette Kids and Family Magazine

Willamette Kids and Family Magazine- May/June 2018  

Willamette Valley Family Magazine- Education issue May/June 2018

Willamette Kids and Family Magazine- May/June 2018  

Willamette Valley Family Magazine- Education issue May/June 2018