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Furlough for the little guys -- Mission K5 covers low income kids in PDX

25,000 kids in grades k-5 will be locked out of the Portland Public Schools on May 13th. Fill up all the furlough day camps, neighborhood programs, friends and relations houses -- and we may still have as many as 5,000 kids without care. Mission K5 aims to give those kids a great place to hang out in a safe festive atmosphere, with educational, arts, and recreational activities (and a USDA lunch) for the furlough days.
That's right, boys and girls, you saw it in Doonesbury all over the world:
Portland schools are letting out early.
25,000 kids in grades k-5 will be locked out of the Portland Public Schools on May 13th. Fill up all the furlough day camps, neighborhood programs, friends and relations houses -- and we may still have as many as 5,000 kids without care.
Mission K5 aims to give those kids a great place to hang out in a safe festive atmosphere, with educational, arts, and recreational activities (and a USDA lunch) for the furlough days.
Who is Mission K5? Right now, it's a small group of volunteers who are negotiating with Parks and Recreation, the Columbia River Council of the Girl Scouts of America, and many other groups in town to see if we can care for those kids.
We need more folks -- if we get our max capacity, we need to maintain a staffing level of 225 volunteers for ten hours for a month of weekdays.
We need people to plan and negotiate, raise money, and coordinate volunteers now.
In May, we need volunteers to herd kids and put together fun activities, or just read to a small knot of admirers. Bilinguals and polyglots most graciously welcome!
We need arts groups, teachers, scientists, and great imaginations to create those fun activities and train volunteers to lead them -- or come on down!
We'll need admin folks to get paperwork done and sign the kids in and out. We'll need security folks to make sure no kids sneak out, and nobody who shouldn't be on the site sneaks in.
We'll need people to help prepare meals, transport meals, and all that.
We'll need people to manage volunteers, run a resource and referral desk, and troubleshoot.
We'll need folks certified in First Aid and CPR to staff the ouchie tent.
This is a huge project, and we can't do it without the high schoolers. We will absolutely depend on the teenagers to be the core of our volunteer staff.
Without a program like this, we could be seeing tragedy in the paper every day, as low income households leave small children alone. They could come to harm on the streets, or even at home, with housefires and accidents in the news every day.
Kids who come to Mission K5 must be free-lunch kids and their households must commit a minimum of four hours of volunteer time per week of care. We are trying to make it free, for the four weeks, but we may have to charge a small fee to cover meals and insurance.
Want to get involved? Check out the yahoo group and listen for the interview on KBOO-FM on the Wednesday news.

homepage: homepage: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/missionk5/