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School notes: Polar Plunge; art class; reading volunteers; auction; state band


Gladstone’s School Resource Officer Eric Graves is a big fan of the Special Olympics.

In fact, he’s willing to dive into the frigid waters of the Columbia River next month to raise funds for the cause.

Graves, along with other officers from the Gladstone Police Department Penguins team will take part in the Polar Plunge on Feb. 8. In return, they are seeking donations to support Special Olympics, and athletic program for youths with special needs.

Donors can write checks to The Special Olympics and send them to: SRO Eric Graves; Gladstone High School; 18800 Portland Ave.; Gladstone 97027.

After-school art class begins in February

North Clackamas Schools Community Outreach Team is offering an extracurricular art course for students in grades 5 through 12, starting in February.

The 12-week class will be offered from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays at Clackamas High School, 14488 S.E. 122nd Ave., Clackamas, beginning Feb. 11. The cost to families who participate is $50.

The fee includes instruction by Nho Nguyen, a well-known artist in the Vietnamese community. Nguyen taught the class two years ago and is back to share his skills and expertise.

“We hope to have people from several cultures take this class as a way to celebrate their own culture while learning more about others,” said project coordinator Phil Phan.

Enrollment is limited to 20 students. To register or find out more, contact class coordinator Phil Phan at 503-353-5678, Ext. 3.

Volunteer creates reading program

Thanks to Nichol Holm, a Duncan Elementary School parent, several North Clackamas schools are rolling out a new reading program. The volunteer-based program will engage young learners in becoming competent readers.

“Nichol saw a need in her child’s school, and developed this exciting program,” said volunteer coordinator Kathy Harrison. “Volunteers share their love of reading and work with a small group or individual students to increase their confidence, and provide positive feedback and encouragement.”

The program is proving to be so successful at Duncan Elementary that three other schools — Bilquist, Lewelling and Oak Grove elementary — are rolling out the program at the end of January.

Register now for free Parent Power class

Unfortunately, kids don’t come with instruction manuals. Parents hoping to improve family communication, student motivation, and effective discipline strategies will learn that and more at a free four-week parent course offered in February.

Sponsored by Gladstone schools and Northwest Family Services, the Parent Power Class will be offered from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday nights, Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25. Free childcare will be provided. The class location is John Wetten Elementary, 250 E. Exeter St. Parents from any school are welcome. To register, visit lastingrelationships.org or call 503-546-6377.

Podcasts with a few lessons from the class are available at gladstone.k12.or.us/podcasts-parent-tips.

Story Hour offers free books

Come to Story Hour at the Gladstone Center for Children and Families, 18905 Portland Ave., from 4:15 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16.

The event helps children build early reading skills through shared reading, play and fun language activities. This event will feature stories by children’s author Jan Brett. Children 5 and under will receive a free book. All are welcome.

“Attending Story Hour is a fun opportunity to explore the Center and ask about our free, full-day kindergarten, Head Start preschool, and the other six programs at our state-of-the-art early childhood center,” said GCCF Director Don Brown.

Open Admission applications for the full-day kindergarten program will be accepted from families living outside the Gladstone School District boundary from mid-January through April 1. To apply, call Sandi Frohnert, 503-496-3935.

Palm Springs trip, helicopter tour draw auction attendees

Tickets are on sale now for the Gladstone Education Foundation dinner & auction, which this year has a “Country Chic” theme. The event is the year’s biggest fundraiser for school and social service programs supporting Gladstone students.

Auction items include a week at Eagle Crest, beach stays in Long Beach and Ocean Parks, a helicopter ride to wine tasting, landscaping, a guided fishing trip, ski and golf excursions, gift baskets, and tickets to local sports events or other attractions.

Call Tammy Tracy to make a donation or to order tickets ($40 per person, or a table of eight for $320): 503-655-2777.

Flutist qualifies for All-State Band

Aria Colewater, a junior at Gladstone High School, qualified to join the All-State Symphonic Band, which will perform in Eugene on Jan. 17.

“Aria is an excellent musician, and we are proud to have her represent the Gladstone High School band,” said band director David Kays.