For several years, the East Portland Action Plan (EPAP) has worked with us to improve the lives of families in our School District. EPAP was convened by the City of Portland, Multnomah County, and now U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley to address education, infrastructure, safety, housing, equity and other important issues affecting the quality of life for residents of East Portland.
We are grateful for, and would like to acknowledge, the continued support of EPAP over the years. Here are some of the ways EPAP support has made a positive impact at David Douglas:
- We welcomed more residents and families to enjoy the playground and connect with one another at Earl Boyles Elementary by installing two community benches, an integral part of what has become a neighborhood hub.
- To better communicate with families, we recently translated the elementary student handbook into Chinese, Vietnamese and Somali. With District funds, we translated the handbook into Spanish and Russian. The handbooks will be given to approximately 5,000 Pre-K and elementary students and their families.
- Bilingual high school students have an opportunity to enhance their valuable language skills in an interpreter training course, launched in fall of 2016 with about 35 students. The pilot program is designed to give guidance to these youth for future career options.
- Later this year we will build on efforts to engage parents from various culturally diverse backgrounds such as Somali, Chinese, Vietnamese, Nepali, Burmese and Karen, by offering a parent engagement workshop series. We hope to listen to their questions and concerns so that we may help them better experience and understand the school system. Importantly, we seek to build more leadership roles for parents.
EPAP’s dedicated group of community representatives, and its generous grants, have made it possible for us to provide these types of programs and resources that support student success and family engagement. We hope to partner more with EPAP in the future!