Directly Speaking

I want to wish all of you a Happy New Year and hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season!   There are some very exciting things happening within our Peninsula community. Our newly formed Family Committee had their first meeting on Friday, January 6th. There was a great turnout of family members and many topics were discussed. One of the topics discussed was the launch of a new scrip program that parent Holli Houston is coordinating. Any funds raised from this program will be allocated by the Family Committee. (See the article below for further details.) The next Family Committee meeting is scheduled for Friday, February 10, 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. See Natalie (, 503.280.0535 ext 33) if you want to get involved.
Another exciting development is that our Board and administrative staff are working together to create a 3-year strategic plan for the center. The plan will contain goals that will be the blueprint for how the school will grow and evolve. Each goal will have strategies and timelines that will guide the school to the successful accomplishment of these objectives. Our goal is to have the plan written and begin implementation no later than May of this year. I will keep you informed of our progress.
Lastly I want to remind you that we still have openings in some of our classes. We appreciate your help in recruiting new students. As a thank you for your efforts we are still offering a referral and enrollment incentive: $600 tuition credit for YOU, and a $600 tuition credit for YOUR FRIEND.  The credit will begin the second month, and you and your referral will each be given a $100 credit for the next 6 months. For every family you refer you will receive an additional $600 credit. Restrictions may apply. If you have any questions about this program please don’t hesitate to contact me at 503-280-0534x21.

Notes from Sue, Education Director

New Family Committee Wants to Know Ways Families Can Contribute
We are really excited about Peninsula’s new Family Committee, which held its first meeting last week.  The meeting was well attended with lots of good ideas, questions, and positive energy.  

One request from the family committee is to know ways parents can support the program here at Peninsula in terms of tools, services, time, and talents. There really are many ways parents can contribute to and enrich the program here for children, especially in these difficult economic times.  Below are some of the current opportunities.
Musicians: If you are a musician and would like to volunteer your time and talent to contribute to a music program for the children please let us know.
Sewing: We regularly need volunteers with sewing skills. You could do projects at home on your own time or participate in occasional sewing “parties”. We need experienced sewers with machines.
Maintenance/Building (plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc.):  We would love to have some volunteers we could call on for odd jobs as they arise. We’d also love to have someone occasionally to build things for classrooms.
Landscaping/Yard Work: We are blessed with a large outdoor area which means there is always lots of weeding and other yard workVolunteers could come and work on a regular basis or for occasional work parties.
Classroom “Experts” as Special Visitors: The definition of an “expert” in early childhood is anyone who knows more about a particular subject than a five year old. If you have a job, skill, hobby, or talent that might be of interest to young children, let us know.
Teacher Recognition: We’d love to have parents, grandparents, foster parents, etc. who want to do occasional teacher recognition/appreciation activities.
Other volunteer possibilities include IT/Computer help, clerical, and, of course, parents are always welcome to spend time volunteering in their own child’s classroom.  If you would like to volunteer at Peninsula, please call Executive Director Ken Dale at 503-280-0534 x 21.

School-Age Site Notes

Hello again from the school-age programs at Boise-Eliott and Sabin. Both programs had very successful winter break programs, and now are back in full swing since school started again. We want to remind families of both schools to be sure to fill out the Portland Public Schools’ evaluation form for our program. We use your input to help improve our program, and we appreciate your time in providing feedback. Please see staff for more information. We hope for 100% participation. We also now have Family suggestion boxes at both schools. We welcome your input and comments. If you sign your name to the suggestion or comment, we will get back to you within the week.

We also want to say goodbye to teacher Sharon, who has taught at our Sabin program for many years. She is leaving Sabin, but not the Peninsula program. Sharon has accepted an assistant teacher position in the Junior 2 room at our Maryland Campus. We are glad that Sharon remains a part of the Peninsula teaching staff, and we wish her nothing but success in her new position.

Wonderful Winter Fest 2011

On December 16, 2011, Peninsula Children's Center hosted a wonderful Winter Fest for children and families. Thank you to our partners at Ethos Music Center who provided live holiday music and The Junior League of Portland volunteers who helped with holiday activities and snacks. The event was a wonderful success, and we thank Natalie for all of her efforts in coordinating with teachers, community partners and families to have a succesful event that was fun for everyone involved.

Scrip Fundraising Information from Parent Holli Houston


Families, this is an easy way to help us raise funds for Peninsula Children's Center. How it works is that you buy gift cards, for face value, to the stores you already use, through Peninsula, and then Peninsula receives a percentage of the proceeds. For instance, if you shop at Albertson’s, you can buy a $50 gift card, pay $50, and Peninsula will get $2. There are literally hundreds of stores nationwide that participate. Hard copies of the vendor list are available in the lobby.

The logistics are easy:
1.       Decide which stores, and in what dollar amounts, for which you would like to purchase cards;
2.       Fill out an order form (a sample will be in your child’s classroom folder, and additional copies will be in the lobby);
3.       Put your order form and a check to pay for the cards in a sealed envelope; and
4.       Put the envelope in the lock box in the lobby that is labeled “SCRIPS.”

When the cards arrive, we will deliver them to your child’s classroom for distribution.

Due to shipping costs for obtaining the cards, we will try to consolidate the orders and place a large order as often as possible. If it is ever going to take more than 10 business days to get your cards, we will contact you to see if that suits your needs.

The funds raised will be used to serve the needs of Peninsula’s students, with input from the Family Involvement Committee (FIC). If you have ideas or suggestions on how the funds ought to be used, please contact your child’s teacher who can put you in touch with a member of the FIC.

This fundraising opportunity is not limited to parents at Peninsula, so please, ask your friends, family members, and co-workers if they would like to place orders as well.
Thank you for your support in helping us get this program launched!

Toddler Parenting Class in our Community

FREE PARENT GROUP! Peninsula Children's Center's Community Partners Morrison Child & Family Services are offering a group for parents of toddlers ages 1-3 years old will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 -8:00 p.m. beginning January 24, 2012. The group lasts 12 weeks and meets at Albina Head Start's Avel Gordly Center (at the intersection of N. Skidmore and N. Mississippi). Dinner and childcare are included! This is a great way to connect with other parents and share the joys and struggles of parenting a toddler. Registration is required. Please contact Vicki Fellingham at 503.307.5697 with questions or to sign up.

Calendar of events

Monday, January 16th - All Day All campuses closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday
Friday, February 10th 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. Family Committee Meeting - Maryland Campus