I wanted to take time this month to thank our community partners who help Woodburn students succeed in school and beyond. The holiday season is a great time to acknowledge their hard work, which benefits our community on many levels.
The city of Woodburn and its police department are a huge benefit to the school district. From helping us permit bond-funded projects to making sure our students are safe with school resource officers, we are truly fortunate to have them as a partner. Considering the current political climate, many people think government can't work together. However, I encourage you to see the projects we have accomplished together and know this doesn't apply to the local level.
School adjourns for the holiday season Dec. 20 through Jan. 2. This can create a period of uncertainty for many families in our community who rely on school services to provide a hot meal and safe place for students.
The Woodburn Library at 280 Garfield St. continues to provide a reading program for children in English, Spanish and Russian during winter break. Their hours are Monday-Thursday (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.), Friday (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.), and Saturday-Sunday (1 to 5 p.m.) Check their web site for changes to the schedule during the holidays at woodburnlibrary.org.
AWARE Food Bank provides food for families in need Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon at 152 Arthur St. in Woodburn. Any family can show up and receive nutritious food, vegetables and fruit while the agency is open. Learn more at www.awarefoodbank.org or by calling them at (503) 981-5828.
Love Santa, Inc., another local nonprofit, also provides a hearty meal and gifts to children 16 years old and younger to families living in Woodburn. You can find their contact details on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lovesantainc.
Shop with a Cop and Fire Fighter helps students purchase presents for their families during the holiday season. Police officers and fire fighters shop with children at Walmart, which donates gift cards for the purpose. This year 45 Woodburn students participated in the program.
For general needs, Love INC of North Marion County is a good resource for area families. Love INC connects families with local churches, service agencies and community programs that can help throughout the year. Fourteen area churches have joined together with 61 service agencies to help those in need. Love INC can be reached at 971-983-LOVE or www.loveincmc.org.
As a final note, the best gift you can give your child this holiday season is your time. For younger children, take 30 minutes a day to read to them. For older children, make them put down the smartphones and go for a walk or learn a new skill. Toys are forgotten, but shared memories last a lifetime.