Miss Gillies’ third grade class at John Wetten Elementary brightened the holiday season for seniors served by the Meals on Wheels program, creating festive placemats and handcrafted cards that were delivered with hot meals.

by: PHOTO BY: LESLIE ROBINETTE - Gladstone third graders in Miss Gillies' class decorated holiday placemats for homebound seniors served by Meals on Wheels. “Each child showed off their unique style and creativity,” said Gillies. “The students loved the idea of giving back and making a stranger’s day special.”

Foundation funds school projects

At the School Board meeting Dec. 12, the North Clackamas Education Foundation awarded 21 grants totaling $14,700 to projects at 18 district schools. The grants covered a range of elementary, middle and high school projects and funded exciting, innovative and challenging projects in art, music, science, math, reading, community building and anti-bullying work.

“We are excited to be able to fund these amazing projects and recognize and award the work our teachers are doing in our classrooms,” said Executive Director Ami Margolin Rome. “We are able to award our highest dollar amount in our 20 years as a foundation, thanks to the generosity of our donors and this community.”

Each year, the NCEF dedicates money toward educational and enrichment programs through its teacher grant program. The foundation also provides scholarships to graduating high school seniors and subsidizes activity fees to ensure that students in need are not denied the opportunity to participate in an elective course, art class or sport.

NCEF helps support a range of programs outside of school hours such as the Backpack Buddy program that provides two meals to hungry students each weekend and the Lunch Buddy program that provides adult mentors to elementary school children.

More information may be found at

Bob’s Red Mill donates to Gladstone food pantry

The Backpack Buddy program serving 70 Gladstone families each week got a boost at the end of 2013 when the school district created a food pantry to store non-perishable food donations, a staging area for loading backpacks.

Thanks to generous donations from Bob’s Red Mill, the supplemental weekend food packets now include nutritious, whole grain products like brown rice, oatmeal and granola.

“The donation from Bob’s Red Mill has helped students in two ways,” explained Gladstone High Principal Natalie Osburne. “Besides providing food to struggling families, the whole grain donations have provided a job training experience for young adult special education students, who help us count, package and sort the food.”

The program, supported by Gladstone Christian Church and First Baptist Church of Gladstone hopes to expand to serve more families in 2014. To volunteer or contribute, call Volunteer Coordinator Angela Johnson at 503-656-6564, ext. 265.

GHS effort welcomes community donations

Students and staff at Gladstone High School are celebrating the season of giving by adopting more than 20 struggling families. The school has launched a coin drive, toy drive and food drive, and they invite community members to donate.

Toy-drive tags are available during school hours to those who check in at the school office. Unwrapped gifts can be returned to the school with the tag attached. If the number of toys exceeds adopt-a-family needs, the extra toys will be donated to the Gladstone Fire Department toy drive. Needed items include sports equipment, art supplies, dolls, toy cars/trucks, games and books for kids ages 2 to 18.

Coin-drive proceeds will be used to purchase new clothing items for local families. Coins can be delivered during school hours.

Food drive donations can be delivered to the GHS office during school hours. Needed items include pancake mix, syrup, instant rice, muffin/biscuit mixes, high-fiber breakfast cereals, oatmeal, pasta, or high protein items such as peanut butter, tuna, stew, chili, beans, canned ravioli or hearty soups.

Registration begins for parenting class

Parents mystified by middle schoolers will find new strategies to improve family communication, motivate kids, and use positive discipline in a free four-night workshop presented by Northwest Family Services. Free childcare will be provided.

The Parent Power class will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursdays on Jan. 9, 16, 23 and 30 at Kraxberger Middle School, 17777 Webster Road, Gladstone.

Spaces are filling fast, so register now at or call 503-546-6377.

Community school announces winter classes

For those whose New Year’s resolution is to try something new, Gladstone has a list of fun, affordable winter classes for seniors, adults and kids at

Opportunities for youths include sports, dance, cheerleading, tumbling, baseball batting, guitar, ukulele and driver education.

Classes for adults and seniors include Zumba, first aid, genealogy, computer technology, driving safety, a variety of dance classes, investing, Spanish, gardening, sign language, cooking, guitar, ukulele, woodworking, tai chi, yoga and more.

For more information about how to register, call Tammy Tracy at 503-650-2570.

Volunteers needed to run enrichment classes

Wetten Elementary, 250 E. Exeter St., Gladstone, needs volunteers who have the time and talent to teach children to knit, crochet, cook, play chess, build Legos or do crafts. The school plans to launch a number of after-school classes this winter.

To get involved, contact Volunteer Coordinator Angela Johnson at 503-656-6564 ext. 265 (or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). The commitment is one hour, once a week from 2:20 to 3:20 p.m.

“We want every child to have the opportunity to master new skills, join a positive peer group, and connect with an adult mentor,” Johnson said. “These experiences boost a student’s odds of success in school.”

Elementary seeks donations of used Legos

Families who need to make room for new Christmas toys will find a good home for excess Legos delivered during school hours to Wetten Elementary in Gladstone. The building pieces will be used for a new after-school club at the school.

“With the new educational emphasis on science, technology, and engineering, we want to start kids thinking and planning in three dimensions from their earliest years in school,” said volunteer coordinator Angela Johnson. “One family’s old toys can help students consider a career path of building and designing.”

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