AmeriCorps Report: October
October was a busy month for TAC, the Peer Helpers, and the Pacific County Resiliency Corps! Here’s my update:
Our Peer Helpers are getting busy with sports, school, and extracurricular activities, but they are still fired up about making changes in their schools. In Raymond, the Peer Helpers are working on revising the language of the non-discrimination code and Title XI Policy in their student handbooks to be more inclusive.
Red Ribbon Week
Check out our blog post about Red Ribbon Week here: http://www.pacificcountytac.org/blog/red-ribbon-week
School Board Presentations
On October 22nd, TAC’s Vice Chairperson Lyndsey Owen and I had the opportunity to present at the Raymond School Board meeting. We talked about TAC, the Raymond Peer Helper program, and the 2015 Peer Helper retreat. TAC is hoping to do similar outreach in Willapa Valley and South Bend school districts in November.
Pacific County Resiliency Corps
Volunteer Recruitment Training: On October 16th, the AmeriCorps team received training on Volunteer Recruitment from Jill Kawulok, Chief Operating Officer of Big Brothers, Big Sisters Southwest Washington. We brainstormed ways to increase community engagement in our organizations, learned about best practices for screening potential volunteers, and discussed strategies for keeping volunteers involved and engaged.
Make a Difference Day: On Saturday, October 24th, the AmeriCorps team hosted a Day of Service in North Pacific County. Our mission was two-fold: provide yard clean-up services to community members in need and collect winter clothing to distribute to children in our community. Three team members cleaned gutters, raked leaves, and mowed lawn for five folks in Raymond and South Bend. The rest of our team spent the day at Pioneer Grocery, Everybody’s Supermarket, and Raymond Library collecting winter clothes donations. Community members generously donated over 50 coats and sweaters which I am now working on partnering with the schools to distribute. Great success!
AmeriCorps Launch: October 30th was the official AmeriCorps launch in Seattle. Five of our team members were able to attend and represent Pacific County and Resiliency Corps. We were sworn in as AmeriCorps members, listened to Bill Basl, the director of AmeriCorps, talk about what it means to be an AmeriCorps volunteer, and got to learn about the work that our peers are doing all over the state. I also had the opportunity to volunteer with EarthCorps, planting trees and restoring natural habitat in Seattle’s Woodland Park.
ACEs and NEAR Science
On October 5th, I had the opportunity to attend an Adverse Childhood Experiences study and NEAR (Neuroscience, Epigenetics, ACEs, and Resilience) science training in Seaside, Oregon. I learned about how trauma-informed care is successfully being implemented in all sorts of health and community-related settings, including behavioral health services, schools, and law enforcement policies. I sat with a group from Pacific County and we talked about how we can bring additional ACES training to Pacific County and begin and/or continue to implement trauma-informed care in all sectors in our county. If you want to learn more about the ACES study and why it’s important, check out the link below. Also keep your eyes open for training opportunities happening in Pacific County early next year. http://traumainformedoregon.org/resources/