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Board outlines upcoming events designed to enhance student literacy and science skills.

The West Linn-Wilsonville School Board discussed the district's outdoor science curriculum and provided a sneak peek of upcoming events at its meeting Monday, April 4.

Next listening session confirmed

The school board decided to hold its next listening session from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 23.

Through the sessions, the board intends to hear from community members about how they are experiencing school and hopefully improve relationships between the district and its constituents. The board decided during the March 8 work session that the next session will focus on middle school students, and between six and eight students from each of the district's four junior high schools will participate.

The 50 or so students will represent different grade levels, abilities, interests and gender identities. The district will work with school principals to select the focus groups.

All five board members will be present for this session. The district will provide dinner for the students and will work with families who have transportation barriers.

CREST anniversary

CREST Director Amy Schauer, Garden Coordinator Helena Kilstrom and Youth Transition Specialist Becky Hancock outlined the district's CREST program and the upcoming anniversary celebration happening April 30.

CREST, formally known as the Center for Research in Environmental Sciences and Technologies, is an environmental education center operated by the school district. The program started in 2002 and was created in honor of anthropologist Jane Goodall. Schauer said the center offers various programs and curricular support for students and teachers in the district.

She added that the program has helped thousands of students think more critically through engaging experiments that expand education beyond classroom walls.

The school district will host its 20th anniversary of CREST's conception from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 30 at Boones Ferry Primary School. Families from any school in the district are invited.

Literacy event

In partnership with the West Linn and Wilsonville public libraries, the school district will host a Virtual Family Literacy Event from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 14.

Michelle Murphy, the district's literacy coach, outlined the event's activities and said it stemmed from community feedback to help families cultivate a love of reading in children and close the literacy gap among West Linn and Wilsonville young readers.

"(Families) said that they would like an event celebrating reading with their children with their family, but they also had questions that they would like answered in regards to how to support their children," said Murphy.

The event will be virtual and introduce families and students to resources that develop children's reading skills and interactive storytelling. Representatives from the public libraries will facilitate breakout rooms and students will host story times in multiple languages.

The next board meeting is a work session scheduled for 6 p.m. on April 18.

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