IN-SCHOOL CLASSES: Our presentation to develop after-school arts+health programming at South Baker Elementary School in Baker City was received with such great enthusiasm that we were invited to bring our classes into the school day. After-school classes became in-school programming! This is HUGE to officially become part of the scheduled school day.
FREE LABOR: The shift from after-school to in-school programming transformed the entire teaching staff at South Baker Elementary into an army of 32 volunteers for KIDS-HEAL, including the principal, who works for us during our classes.
FREE FACILITY: Offering classes on campus eliminates all building rental and utility costs.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH ART PROTEST: We designed, painted and installed the first Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month Protest Mural, 2,600 square feet, that wrapped a building in Baker City. We have also installed over 800 square feet of art in downtown windows.
AFTER-SCHOOL CLASSES: After testing our in-school programming in Spring 2013, we offered Free Fridays in September. Free Fridays is an after-school program on Fridays, when Baker County schools are not in session. More than 20 percent of the entire student body attended our first Free Friday class, and each month is slowly growing as we invite 4th, 5th & 6th graders from neighboring communities, and all children who attend home/religious/charter schools, offering classes to approximately 80 percent of all 4th, 5th & 6th graders in Baker County. Kids help make their own lunches, and for many this may be the only good meal they get before the following Monday.
KIDS-HEAL PHILANTHROPY: We requested a limo to paint to bring special rides to special kids, from prom rides for foster kids in Baker City to Bright Lights for Sick Kids, which offered painted limo rides for children battling cancer during Christmas season to see holiday lights around Portland.
GREEN TEAM: After our Pediatric Cancer Awareness Action Month presentation at South Baker, two young women created GREEN TEAM to collect $500 worth of bottles and cans. This money was donated to a family in rural Oregon to help pay for gas for their trips to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital for their child’s cancer treatment.
FREE FOOD LABOR: Healthy snacks for 300 that were once prepared by the KIDS-HEAL Executive Director and the community liaison is now the responsibility of the culinary department at CAP Eagle Innovative High School. 25 volunteer hours each month.
SHRINKING FOOD COSTS: The Baker School District Food Service Director now orders our food to be delivered directly into our school; this eliminates the need for the executive director to bring food from wholesale outlets in Portland into Baker City.
NUTRITION CLASS ADJUSTMENTS: Making cancer education sandwiches and watching videos was how our nutrition classes started, but we have found that bringing in prepped snacks along with a healthcare professional to talk with the students about the monthly health topic has improved learning through interactive conversations. It took a year of relentless calling, but St. Alphonsis Hospital in Baker City now sends Lindsay Ganong, its community outreach specialist, to talk with students during our nutrition learning sessions each month and answer questions they may have. More free labor through a meaningful partnership!
ART CLASS STREAMLINING: Much of the equipment required for art classes was purchased in our first year, including the storage racks to store our food and art supplies. Brushes to markers, googly eyes to pipe cleaners, scissors and paint containers, tarps to cover the floor, knives, cutting boards and cups for Free Friday lunch, and small rolling carts that transport our supplies have been purchased. We are ready to invest money in programming now that the materials for our infrastructure are in-house.
SIMPLIFYING CLASS STRUCTURE: After six months of testing classes, Principal Betty Palmer and KIDS-HEAL founder Frank Etxaniz adjusted classes according to evaluations with teachers, students and volunteers. This adjustment included Frank’s initial desire to divide the school into tribes that bring together students from each grade, where students interact with students outside of their grade and where older students become mentors for younger students. Plus we shifted from five activity sessions to four during our 2-hour class.
ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION CHANGES: We used sheets of paper for our monthly pre- and post-evaluations when we began our journey. KIDS-HEAL is now shifting toward using iPADS + Google forms + Cloud storage to collect and process our monthly findings. We continue to adjust the number of questions and how we present them each month with the assistance of Rosemary Fitton, professional education evaluator, and Ali Chisti and his Harvard pre-med friends.
PAID STAFF TO VOLUNTEERS: The paid staff required to support our programming during research, movement and nutrition sessions is now being replaced by volunteers. More than 40 students graduating to middle school next year will come back to help teach what they have learned at South Baker. It's KIDS TEACHING KIDS.
THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF KIDS-HEAL DURING YEAR ONE ARE A DIRECT RESULT OF THE FAITH, SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT FROM PRINCIPAL BETTY PALMER, STAFF AND TEACHERS AT SOUTH BAKER INTERMEDIARY SCHOOL IN BAKER CITY, OREGON.