After A Busy Summer NFK Is Ready For Fall

Neighbors For Kids, home of the Kids Zone, is pleased to announce that the 2016 Summer Camp has been a great success and the youth organization looks forward to serving children again during the school year. After serving over 150 local children in grades pre-K thru 12th for eleven weeks straight and being open 9.5 hours a day, the Kids Zone has set new records this summer. Not only did the non-profit set a record with direct service hours provided, which equaled a total of 513 hours, they also had record-breaking days of numbers of healthy meals served, fun experiences, educational enrichment and adventurous field trips.

The community may have noticed the Kids Zone’s colorfully painted mini school bus transporting kids to the site all summer long and taking kids on exciting field trips all over Lincoln County which included the Siletz Blueberry Farm, North Lincoln County Historical Museum, Pacific Maritime Heritage Center, Newport Visual Arts Center, Siletz Bay (Clamming Trip), Lincoln City Cultural Center, OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center, Yaquina Head Lighthouse, and locally, Depoe Bay City Park & Hiking Trails, City of Depoe Bay Salmon Hatchery (for coho salmon fin-clipping) and the Depoe Bay Harbor.

The final week, titled “Water, Water, Everywhere” offers youth a Surf Camp & Beach Field Trip at Otter Rock, in partnership with Warm Current and Surfrider Foundation, as well as a Whale Watching Trip on the local Dockside Charters boat, the Endeavor. Another summer highlight was the re-launch of the Rowing Club, one of NFK’s original programs allowing youth to study water safety and boating techniques and then row in their skiffs down within the local harbor. Local volunteers, the US Coast Guard and city staff fueled this activity.

In addition, the Kids Zone Garden was re-built and planted only two blocks from the facility, offering kids and staff a chance to learn about healthy lifestyles and plant items such as potatoes, green beans, snap peas, carrots, radishes, herbs, lettuce and flowers. To top it off, everyone took part in “Shark Week”, engaging in a full week of dynamic educational activities and projects about sharks and marine biology, with local shark expert Dr. Mark Marks, founder of a non-profit organization called the Shark Protection and Preservation Association, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization for scientific and educational purposes.

The first stage of the development of Gail Glickman Program also became part of the Kids Zone’s mission this summer and the organization looks to the future as they strive to serve students in need of specialized support and programming. A lot was learned during the pilot program as local teaching specialists were able spend several weeks on site, join the team of staff, work directly with many children, closely observe the Kids Zone operations and help develop a vision for how the program might look if it became part of the after school program. This summer proved that there is a great need in this region for serving this population during the out-of-school-time hours and that with specific trainings, dedicated space and ongoing guidance the Kids Zone does have the capacity to offer this program not only during summer, but in the school year too.

Gail Glickman’s past career, personal dedication and vision fits perfectly with NFK’s mission of helping all children achieve their full potential and enjoy a quality childhood experience. Neighbors For Kids would also like to thank all those who generously supported this year’s Summer Camp activities, including Ford Family Foundation, Spirit Mountain Community Fund, Gray Family Foundation, Samaritan Health Services, City of Depoe Bay, TLC Fibre Federal Credit Union, Partners For A Hunger Free Oregon Summer Meals Support Fund, Oregon Department of Education’s Summer Meals Expansion grant, LCSD’s 21st Century Community Learning Center grant and donors from the community. As fall and winter approach Neighbors For Kids will be seeking additional support toward their programs and there are many opportunities to donate, sponsor or become a volunteer.

For more information or to make a charitable contribution to NFK, please call 541-765-8990 or visit their website at www.neighborsforkids.org

Information and photo by NFK