IN-SCHOOL CLASSSES: Continue our work in Baker City with a paid volunteer coordinator and two volunteer assistants.
FREE LABOR: Bring the 8 to 10 volunteers each month, from the 40+ students who have graduated into middle school, back to South Baker to help us. They know our program first-hand and have proven to be a great asset in all classes, but particularly in the art classes.
FREE FACILITIES: We have a nearly 3,000-square-foot art studio on campus in Jordan Valley that will cost us $20 a month. We want to transform this space into a creative art and health studio. It looks as if we have room to grow in Crane also. The problems of finding art space in Baker City will not be a problem for our two new partners, Jordan Valley and Crane, in 2014-15.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH ART PROJECTS: We continue to work on our series of dinosaurs that will brand each community where KIDS-HEAL brings classes. Baker City is Elk-a-soar-us-wrecks, and we will wait and see what Jordan Valley and Crane come up with. Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario, the only college in the four counties of the Forgotten Corner of Oregon, is interested in promoting its welding program. My goal is to partner with them this year to begin creating our prototype dinos out of old, discarded metal tractor and farming objects.
AFTER-SCHOOL CLASSES: There will be no expansion of the after-school program until I have a better understanding of our of two new partner schools. It took a year at South Baker before I expanded into after-school programming.
KIDS-HEAL PHILANTHROPY: We tested our "art popup shop" during the Hells Canyon Motorcycle Rally in Baker City mid-July 2014. Although it was not a great financial success, we earned the trust, and some money, from local business. And the children learned how to create a booth, prep it, work it, protect it every night, tally a cash box and work with the public. This core group of eight kids is already thinking about Christmas and next summer at the Miners Jubilee, a very local and more kid-friendly retail environment. I am training them so that I do not need to be with them in the future. This project will be organized with the assistance of the volunteer coordinator and a team of volunteers.
GREEN TEAM: As with any pre-teen club, there have been "break-ups," changes of leadership, kids quitting, others joining for a week. But after a year we are back to the same group of kids who want to raise funds for KIDS-HEAL and gas money for rural families fighting cancer. Last year they raised $500 to donate to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, and this year we are asking people and businesses to match what the kids raise. I have pledged to match the $500 to make sure we start where we ended last year. We have over 200 names of celebrities and news stations who will receive our call to action.
GUEST ARTISTS/DOCTORS/LEADERS: Our goal is to begin bringing the outside world to these small rural communities through guest artists and speakers, both in person and online. BodyVox, an internationally recognized dance company in Portland, is currently writing grants to come join us in the Forgotten Corner of Oregon, as is the Casey Eye Institute.
SHRINKING FOOD COSTS: Initially I was making snacks each month, but the response was always the same: 1/3 liked it, 1/3 hated it, and 1/3 didn’t care. Food costs were as high if not higher than art supplies. I have adjusted to serving fresh fruit each month rather than addressing new foods. If parts of our project don’t work, then they are adjusted, and we have done so with healthy snacks that are now served at the end of our two-hour session rather than during the nutrition/video/speaker component of our classes.
WEBSITE AND HOW-TO VIDEOS: The digital aspect, from presentations to classes and newsletters, is now being reinvented with a group of 20-something young artists and filmmakers. Now that I know what we are doing and how it is done, I can begin the promotion phase. Develop first, then promote it. I tested the how-to videos last year and learned a lot. We will implement those lessons this year and bring in new art projects and artists into rural Oregon.
ART CLASS STREAMLINING: Much was learned last year. First is that kids can make GREAT art in 25 minutes. Students are now familiar with how KIDS-HEAL works, and they are not as hesitant as they were in the past to get started. T-shirts are our most successful canvases, and teachers are asking for more than just our digestive track on a T; they want the bones class and heart class to be done on Ts. Kids love them, wear them, and promote our program through them. I also have found a resource to purchase Ts at half of wholesale through a new partner in Baker City.
SIMPLIFYING CLASS STRUCTURE: The tribe concept of breaking up the 4th, 5th and 6th graders into four tribes has been a great success. And now that we have four classes rather than five, life is less manic with both students and teachers. Four classes at 25 minutes each makes classes a bit larger but more calm and focused. We are always fine-tuning.
ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION CHANGES: We have moved from paper to iPADS, but we now are focusing on how to retrieve data, not just the inputting of the answers to our questions. I am all over the state right now, as this is the most important issue to address. There is no replication without proper documentation, but how to retrieve will now redefine how and what we ask. Now that we have the school on board and a class structure that works, how do we implement what we have learned in a way that is true to grade-school students.
VOLUNTEERS ARE NOW PAID STAFF: Just as with CHAP, I am good at finding a replacement for me. Once I have designed and implemented a program, it is much easier to choose a person to manage it. This has been done, and I will shadow our volunteer coordinator in Baker City this year and let her take over in 2015-16.