L.1 Improve early childhood education

L.1. 1 Provide free full-day kindergarten at all East Portland public elementary schools.
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L.1. 2 Advocate through legislature and others for statewide funding of early childhood programs for East Portland.
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Dear East Portland Action: I am a teaching professional with a master’s in Education. I would like to create a unique child care center program that will assist in the education of children in East Portland. We have already designed an education program designed for this child care center, and I have teachers who are willing to work with it. However, we need support from East Portland legislation, a recommendation of a location, and a small monetary donation that will assist in the creation of this Child Care Center. Our goal is to make this program active for the children by April 2013. We think this is an attainable goal if we start mobilizing on February 1st, 2013.
L.1. 3 Increase academic component for East Portland kindergarten students.
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With the support of an EPAP grant and fiscal sponsorship from East Portland Neighbors, Parkrose Music Boosters purchased age-appropriate music instruments allowing staff to develop musical curriculum supportive of core academic subjects. We also purchased transportable containers that will maximize students/schools engaged to maximize the effect of grant partnership funds.

L.2 Increase availability of youth-focused programs

L.2. 1 Encourage needs-based funding for SUN schools - prioritize where indicators warrant resources (i.e., poverty).
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This is an ongoing area that is considered critical by the SUN Coordinating Council and the partners. The Council has adopted a “poverty-index” that identifies each school relative to the number and percent of children participating in free and reduced lunch meals. This list of schools is what is used to identify the next SUN Community School sites as resources become available to the system.
L.2. 2 Start "Mentor East" campaign with a focus on recruiting local seniors. Create alliance with other organizations such as Big Brother/Big Sister organizations to increase mentoring, especially within minority communities.
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Exploring a garden bed project involving seniors and youth at Leach Botanical Garden with Cultivate Portland and others.
L.2. 3 Create pilot local student exchange program -- cultural exchange within East Portland.
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L.2. 4 Increase funding to after-school programs such as Boys and Girls Club, Police Activities League, etc.
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With the support of an EPAP grant and fiscal sponsorship by the East Portland Neighbors, Parkrose Music Boosters increased the potential availability of musical curriculum in after school programs that enhanced opportunities for our target groups (internal and partnership with SUN).
Thanks to the support of an EPAP grant during the 2015-16 school year, Chess for Success was able to provide after-school chess clubs at 15 schools within the East Portland boundaries: Lynch Wood Elementary in the Centennial School District; Cherry Park (new this year), Earle Boyles, Floyd Light, Gilbert Heights, Lincoln Park, Menlo Park, Mill Park, and Ron Russell in the David Douglas School District; Parkrose Middle School and Shaver in the Parkrose School District; Kelly and Lent in the Portland Public Schools District; and Alder and Lee in the Reynolds School District. All 15 are SUN (Schools Uniting Neighborhoods) sites, of which seven are run by Metropolitan Family Service, three by Campfire, two by Catholic Charities, one by Impact Northwest, and one by IRCO. A total of 612 children participated in Chess for Success after-school programming. Of these children 72% were minorities, 82% were eligible for free lunch, and 32% were girls.
L.2. 5 Increase access to community-based youth athletics; reduce barriers such as registration fees.
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Participants in the Bridges to Housing program have access to flexible funds through their case managers which are being used for youth athletics, scouting, after school classes and related activities.
Free swim lessons are available to children in the EPAP neighborhoods who qualify for the free or reduced lunch program. The lessons are flexible in that they are drop-in and if a concurrent session is missed there are no consequences and the child will not fall behind. This eliminates the barriers for parents with fluctuating work schedules, transportation issues, and finding money for registration fees. This grant increases access to community based youth athletics. Swim lessons are available on Monday and Wednesday evening 7:30 to 8:30. Proof of the lunch program (letter issued by the school district) is required for registration. Advance registration is not required. The grant has been extended and lessons begin again on 1/3/10 and go until the funds have been used.
From March 2015 to October 2015, ROSE CDC families with children between the ages of 5-14 gathered twice a week behind Kelly Elementary to practice soccer. In total, 64 youth (all from Spanish Speaking families) participated in the Club RC program. Practice was open to anyone within the age range that came from a Spanish-speaking family, and teams were formed as we accrued enough participants to form a team of that age. Club RC was led by parents who volunteered their time to organize practices, form teams, reach out to new participants, and sign up for league play. Funding for the program was provided by a EPAP Civic Engagement Grant.
African Youth and Community Organization worked to support and provide three (3) youth mentors for two-hours every two (2) weeks to support three (3) students needing individual attention for six (6) months. Students were engaged through our soccer sports program. These mentors established an ongoing mentorship program that was developed and supported by AYCO. More than 825 community members attended related sporting events and soccer tournaments that promoted cultural appreciation and diversity among our community.
L.2. 6 Develop a teen center in East Portland.
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Though these areas are not specifically assigned to the library, the library does focus on providing welcoming spaces and services to teens at the Midland Library. For example, the Midland library has a Teen Council which meets twice a month and is open to all teens. The purpose is for teens to work with library staff to make the library and its services teen-friendly. Teen Council program is supported by The Library Foundation.

L.3 Strengthen stability and quality of East Portland K-12 schools

L.3. 1 Develop a marketing campaign for East Portland schools showcasing high achievement and innovation.
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L.3. 2 Develop connections between high school students and higher education and workforce development, such as SUN schools' business consultants.
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Growing Entrepreneurs, offered at Fir Ridge Campus during the summer of 2011, connected high school youth with workforce training opportunities and local businesses through workshops and a small youth-run produce stand.
Portland YouthBuilders served high school aged students in our fully accredited alternative high school, connecting them with workforce development opportunities through our Fields to Forks program.
This summer, Impact NW’s Urban opportunities operated the Blue Lake Concession Stand at Blue Lake Park through a partnership with Metro. We employed 4 youth who were able to gain work experience, references and wages. The youth also engaged with community and team members that created a lasting positive experience!
Because the Latino youth population at Parkrose High School is especially in need of real-life job training and employment opportunities, Impact NW utilized our existing partnerships in East County to create a culturally specific program intended to prepare and inspire Latino youth towards school and employment success, while building positive and long-lasting community connections. 11 dedicated Parkrose youth completed 6 2-hour workshops presented in English and Spanish as students preferred, which incorporated résumé and cover letter writing, mock interviews, career research, work ethic, food handler certification, as well as job-specific training. All participating youth successfully completed an internship with City of Portland Parks and Recreation day camps and are now eligible for regular status employment with the day camps next summer!
Impact NW's Urban Opportunities was able to offer follow up job-readiness workshops that focused specifically on supporting summer students the opportunity to apply for summer employment with Portland Parks and Recreation. The 4 workshop topics included updating resumes, crafting Portland Parks and Recreation cover letters, application completion and submission, and work ethic. We had great attendance for these workshops and 4 high school youth chose to apply for the job and have already been invited to interview.
One Life Portland's Raising The Level program has held leadership and civic engagement classes in East Portland. During our section titled, "Self Initiative & Purpose" we developed connections between youth and Mt. Hood CC and PCC. We encouraged youth to attend college and/or get an understating of importance of higher education.
One Life Portland's Raising The Level program has held leadership and civic engagement classes in East Portland. During our section titled, Personal Development, we encouraged connections between youth and SE Works In focus Program. We also encouraged youth to attend college and/or get an understating of importance of higher education. Many students are not impressed with the idea of college; we understand why. So, we have encouraged students to find resources for free college tuition and to help steer them into a career or field that will be useful to their family and community rather the going to college for business, which many students do who lack guidance.
L.3. 3 Create a County service provider forum to develop student "wraparound" services plan for East Portland.
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L.3. 4 Advocate with the City Council and Legislature to increase school funding for East Portland schools through system development charges.
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L.3. 5 Assess school resources and curriculum in PPS' East Portland schools in relation to other PPS schools; adjust as needed.
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L.4 Increase the academic success of East Portland K-12 students

L.4. 1 Include East Portland youth in education planning activities.
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Though these areas are not specifically assigned to the library, the library does focus on providing welcoming spaces and services to teens at the Midland Library. For example, the Midland library has a Teen Council which meets twice a month and is open to all teens. The purpose is for teens to work with library staff to make the library and its services teen-friendly. Teen Council program is supported by The Library Foundation.
Our "Subotnik" project addressed action point L.4.1 by coordinating youth-oriented educational programming via the Portland Parks Department, Zenger Farm and Leach Botanical Garden. Field trips were organized for the children and youth at Springwater Commons at both Zenger Farm and Leach Botanical Garden as the culminating events of the larger Subotnik project. Additionally, Springwater Commons’ youth were involved on the day of the Subotnik event, working directly with the JCWC representative to chart out the bioswale restoration. Participating youth also took initiative in learning how to plant the native species, and led the younger children in the project as well. The youth also took charge of the curb painting project, with excellent results. In addition, a representative from Growing Gardens provided a children’s program in June on growing their own food. Children and youth planted vegetable seeds and learned about food gardening.
Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon's(APANO) 'Youth Advocacy Institute' trained and worked with 10 API youth, former refugees from Thailand to address and advocate for education equity issues
With an EPAP grant and the fiscal sponsorship of the East Portland Neighbors, Parkrose Music Boosters provided increased opportunities for middle and high school students to participate in planning performance activities to foster ownership in their educative process.
The Lent Elementary Native Habitat Project provided elementary school students with the opportunity to create a native plant habitat, rain garden and insectary within the Lent Garden and Outdoor Education Space (GOES). Prior to planting, Ecology in Classrooms & Outdoors (ECO), taught students about native plant species. Utilizing this knowledge, students planned which plants should be included within the GOES, and then planted them in the garden.
ROSE CDC worked with youth to plan and apply for a Civic Engagement Grant in 2015 to begin a program called Club RC; a soccer program that engages Latino Families in Lents and Powellhurst Gilbert. Youth wrote a paper titled “why we need to get a grant”. Additionally, one high school student volunteered as a coach.
African Youth and Community Organization organized youth civic mentor leadership development to learn how the education and government system works. The 6 boys who took advantage of this training have gone back to school and are volunteering at the AYCO office as we speak.
L.4. 2 Identify at-risk students and develop targeted services, alternate education opportunities through community colleges.
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APANO did a grant project focusing on academic achievement rates for former refugee youth
Portland YouthBuilders identified and served low-income, at-risk youth in our fully accredited alternative high school. Students received a mix of academic, vocational training, and workforce development services.
With an EPAP grant, and the fiscal sponsorship of the East Portland Neighbors, the Parkrose Music Boosters identified and enabled at-risk and under-served students, with musical interests or skills, the opportunity to engage in musical programs by limiting or eliminating financial barriers.
L.4. 3 Expand cost-effective college credit program opportunities for high school students.
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L.4. 4 Augment Career Consortium (inter-district programs) to expand opportunities and coordinate better between districts.
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L.5 Increase community college and K-12 school districts coordination

L.5. 1 Support, promote and expand Mt. Hood Community College's presence and offerings in East Portland.
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L.5. 2 Develop programs to locate and assist adults (25 years or older) to complete high school education.
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L.6 Increase partnerships among and with East Portland K-12 school districts

L.6. 1 Explore opportunity to add community center programming in East Portland school facilities.
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L.6. 2 Consider and include East Portland school districts in Portland Schools Foundation activities and leadership.
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L.6. 3 Create a forum for ongoing communication that includes leaders from school districts, community colleges, business community and the East Portland Neighborhoods organization.
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EPAP Education Subcommittee was formed. Also Gateway Education/Economic Development Center committee provides another targeted forum. East Portland Action Plan grants programs have funded several partnerships with East Portland K - 2 school s. The EPAP Education Subcommittee directly addresses partnership building between schools, business, neighborhoods, and organizations in East Portland.
In 2014, OPAL was the junior partner for the Youth Transit Justice Summit. Even though it was the first attempt at this concept, the partnership with the Multnomah Youth Commission and Portland State University yielded significant outcomes. Approximately 60 youth, primarily from East Portland, attended the Summit, with the diverse youth voice from across the region represented. Youth participated in break out groups based on issues prioritized by youth, culminating in the development of policy recommendations to make public transportation more affordable, accessible, and safe for young people. As a result of this effort, we were able to get TriMet to reduce the fare for youth, in part based on the inequity of not providing YouthPass for all high school aged youth across the region. While not the permanent funding and expansion of YouthPass we would like, this is nevertheless a fantastic result that has benefited all high school youth and families in the metro region.
L.6. 4 Adopt policy to engage all Portland school districts in matters of citywide policy affecting schools.
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L.7 Increase parental involvement in and access to public K-12 schools

L.7. 1 Identify issues and develop program to reduce cultural barriers to school/parent interaction.
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El Programa Hispano implemented the Círculo de Padres (Latino Parents Circle) project at Ron Russell and Floyd Light middle schools during the 2012-2013 school year. The Círculo de Padres has two primary aims: (1) to increase the understanding in the Latino community about the educational system, and (2) to motivate Latino parents to engage and actively participate in school activities and their children’s education. The Círculo de Padres has met each month since August 2011, covering topics such as getting to know school personnel and their roles within the school, understanding grades and attendance policies, communication between parents and the school and college a career information. Additionally, the Círculo de Padres participants have learned about the variety of services that El Programa Hispano provides to the Latino community. Group participants also have attended community forums about discipline, tax information and resources, and drug and alcohol prevention. El Programa Hispano utilizes the popular education approach in each of the group meetings to encourage active participation and multiple modes of learning, create spaces for trust and participation, empower the group to develop long-term strategies, and develop new community leaders. Each of these workshops has lasted approximately 2 hours, and has had at least 15 Latino participants at each. Food and childcare have been provided to address barriers to parent participation. The average participation in the Círculo de Padres groups at each school has ranged from 15-37 parents per session. Attendance has steadily increased since August due to positive word of mouth among Latino families at both middle schools. The parents at Ron Russell have participated in a total of 14 meetings so far this year. They have developed friendships with each other that will carry them through their children’s middle school years. The parents at Floyd Light started a morning walking group of about 13 mothers, and they have reached out to families at Cherry Park elementary school to start a similar group there. The long term result of the Círculo de Padres at each school has been a strong group of parents that are very involved in the school’s life as volunteers and leaders. Many have committed to helping establish a Círculo de Padres at each school during the coming school year. Overall, the Círculo de Padres project funded by East Portland Action Plan has given El Programa Hispano a wonderful opportunity to start creating a strong family engagement culture at Ron Russell and Floyd Light middle schools. The results of our work have indeed lived up to the expectation that ¡Si se puede!
Many thanks to the East Portland Action Plan for their assistance in making the 2012-2013 school year at Metropolitan Family Service (MFS) SUN Community School (CS) at David Douglas High School (DDHS) a year of significant progress in addressing EPAP Action Item L.7.1- Identifying issues and developing programs to reduce cultural barriers to school and parent interaction. Through quarterly events and parent groups, adult classes, and large community events, parental involvement increased over the last year at DDHS, no doubt due to the concentrated efforts of our project. Our Parental Involvement Project was primarily based on quarterly family involvement events, including Back to School Night, breakout sessions for Somali and Latino parent groups, a Multicultural Fair, and a Thanksgiving Family Event. At Back to School Night our MFS SUN team provided child care, food, and extensive outreach to get more parents involved in learning about how to navigate the high school system; provided them the opportunity to ask administrators questions, and held dialogues about secondary educational issues. Our outreach included multilingual flyers posted in local apartments and businesses, as well as phone calls differentiated by language. Following Back to School Night, we partnered with other community organizations to target specific cultural groups, Somali and Latino, to participate in breakout sessions to build on these topics. Based on feedback from these groups, the Somali meetings were held during the day and the Latino meetings turned into regular monthly meetings. MFS SUN’s Multicultural Fair invited parents and students to gather together to celebrate DDHS’ vast multiculturalism. MFS SUN and DDSD provided transportation for families in the community to and from the event, multicultural food for all, and performances from student groups in our after school community such as Asian Pacific Islander Club, Bhutanese Club, and NAYA. Our Thanksgiving Family Event brought students and families together for a holiday meal and holiday craft activities, bringing parents from all cultures together to share a meal. In total, 1,936 people attended these events throughout the year! Throughout this year MFS SUN offered an adult ESL class free of charge to our community of parents. This class was very successful in attracting consistent participation from our parents. Originally we requested funds to provide child care for class, however due to changes in funds available in-kind from DDSD, we were able to continue to provide this service through EPAP funds for the instructor while recruiting volunteers to provide child care. Parents from all backgrounds and cultures gained skills in the English language that will decrease the language barrier to navigating the current school system. While developing these events, MFS SUN developed and increased relationships with partner organizations in the East Portland area, namely Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization, Catholic Charities- El Programa Hispano, NAYA, and David Douglas School District. Numerous other partner community organizations attended our events to promote their resources to our students. Our Latino Parent Group experienced a significant boost as they attracted new membership, as well as established a regular monthly meeting to organize. Many of these events featured information about other services MFS SUN provides for our community, such as Adult ESL and our Community Food Pantry, and served as a gateway for parents, as well as students, to get more involved with our program’s resources. Although our project did have mostly successful results, we did encounter some struggles also. As there are over seventy languages spoken in our district we struggled to provide translation for all languages both in writing and at events. In addition, and in part due to the previously mentioned struggle, our project was limited in communicating to the community in an effective manner about our events. Although we physically traveled to places where large numbers of historically unengaged families reside, work, and shop, we know due to the size and demographics of our community that many were not reached. Although our project made a huge impact in getting more parents to come to campus, which is the initial step, we need to build on this momentum by empowering parents to become more active in their school community.
The Latino Learning Community worked with parents at Shaver Elementary School through and EPAP grant. LLC siempre ofrecio un regalo alos participantes despues de cada charla simplemente para estimularlos a seguir participando en los talleres de los cuales reciben mucha informaccion, que los ayuda a estar al dia de los avances que se tienen para la comunidad hispana y en la ciudad de Portland porque algunas veces esta la informacion pero no la tienen al alcanze en espanol.
African Youth and Community Organization worked with and educated refugee and immigrant parents to understand the American system and to increase involvement of the children in their classrooms by establishing communication with the teachers, parents, and students. Our goal is for participants to feel supported by the program and become more integrated, stable and at ease within their new American community. Additionally, we had the school staff, parents and students become more comfortable communicating with one another and feel as if they are learning valuable information. We also asked for constructive feedback from the community at all training sessions and learned from them while seeking information. There were evaluation forms that participants fill-out after each training; feedback was encouraged at all times. The AYCO Board and program coordinators evaluated these outcomes each month, and adjustments was made if necessary. In result we are partnering with three school districts and providing continued parent and school engagement.
Human Solutions received a $3,080 grant from EPAP to conduct the “Feeding Minds, Feeding Futures” project. The project addressed Action Plan Strategy L.7: Increase parental involvement in and access to public K-12 schools. Activities conducted with grant funds focused on increasing parent involvement by bringing together children and parents who attend Oliver and Parklane elementary schools. Families shared meals and educational activities, which fostered a positive connection to school and and learning. The project gave children life experience in subjects such as math and science, which makes what is taught in school more meaningful and relevant. The project also provided transportation (cab rides) to parents so that they could attend parent conferences and other school activities. This afforded parents the opportunity to get to know their children’s teachers and helped create a stronger bridge between school and home. Project activities supported by the EPAP grant include the following: 2014 Summer Lunch: A total of 1,641 meals served (1,401 youth meals and 240 adult meals). 2015 Summer Lunch: A total of 2,199 meals served (1,904 youth meals and 295 adult meals). 2014 Garden trips: 81 participants. 2015 Garden Trips: 108 participants. 2014 summer classes: Kinder Kids (a kindergarten readiness program): 5 participants twice a week for 4 weeks. Master Chefs Family Cooking (a 4-week Parent/Child Cooking Class: 31 participants (11 adult, 20 kids); Master Chef Teen Cooking: 16 teens over 4 weeks. We also had a Back to School Garden Feast in 2015 for 20 people. In May 2015, we hosted a parent workshop on advocating for and supporting children with learning disabilities: 20 attended. We overcame the ongoing challenge of getting parents to school for parent/teacher conferences, open houses, school performances, and other events by providing transportation by cab for every interested parent. The grant provided a total of 24 fares. By providing transportation, we made it possible for many parents to attend a school event for the very first time. Families benefited greatly by having the opportunity to dedicate time to school events they would otherwise not have been able to experience.
Thanks to EPAP funding, two benches were installed on the David Douglas School District Earl Boyles Pre-school/Elementary School grounds, serving more than 550 students as well as numerous families and community members. Students, parents, grandparents and other community members benefit from having a place to sit, talk and enjoy the school and its improved environment. The project reinforces the culture of engagement at the school, which is a hub for the community. There is a strong parent group, library, and social service resources for families at the school.
L.7. 2 Provide bi-lingual, bi-cultural staff at schools with large immigrant populations to serve as parent involvement coordinators and liaisons.
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L.8 Increase community library services and facilities

L.8. 1 Study library service needs and develop plan to increase branch Library services for underserved parts of East Portland.
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Multnomah County Library has two neighborhood libraries in the East Portland area: the Midland library and the Rockwood library. Each library serves a population of about 74,000 within a 2-mile radius, with the two facilities representing 21% of the library system’s total square footage. These two libraries have 20% of the system’s library cardholders and 63% of the target language cardholders (Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, and Chinese). During 2009-10, over 13,000 people attended story times; almost 23,000 people attended programs for children, teens, and families; and 13,000 people attended target language programs. The free meeting rooms were used by over 600 groups. Not all services take place within the library buildings. A couple of examples: story times were also held in local childcare centers and agencies such as WIC, while Books 2 U book talkers made regular visits to local targeted schools to increase kids’ motivation to read. Due to the current economic situation, the library’s funding limitations, and the need to provide fiscally sustainable services, Multnomah County Library will not be adding any new facilities in the foreseeable future to the East Portland area or anywhere else in Multnomah County. The library’s goal is to continue to maintain the current number of library locations, open hours, and services throughout Multnomah County during these difficult times.
L.8. 2 Explore restoring the library at Parkrose High School.
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The Parkrose Cooperative Library, a partnership between the Parkrose School District and Multnomah County Library, opened September 8, 1998. The library's main function during the day was to serve as a high school library. It was open to the public in the late afternoon and evening on weekdays and on Saturday. When the library was established, Multnomah County Library and the Parkrose School District viewed it as a challenging experiment. Criteria for success were established. Use of the library by students and the public was evaluated at key points. The public's use of the library was consistently below expectations. On a typical day, the library had only 20-25 regular users during the public hours, and 5-6 families attended the children's story times. The branch manager commented that virtually everyone who used the branch was somehow connected with the school district. The library's materials circulation was less than 1% of total branch circulation, less than 2.4% of total branch library card registrations, less than 1.3% of the total branch holds, and the collection turnover rate (a measure of how well the collection is used) was nearly 4.5 times lower than the average branch library turnover rate. In the library's last year of circulation, fewer than 140,000 items circulated. (For comparison, Rockwood, the next lowest circulating branch that was open that entire fiscal year, circulated more than 340,000 items.) Because of its continued low use, closure of the public library hours was a fiscally responsible step, consistent with the other difficult budget choices that were necessary that year. The public library service at the Parkrose Cooperative Library ended on Saturday, August 3, 2002. There are no plans to reopen that facility.
L.8. 3 Add book drops, activity center or small scale "storefront" or branch libraries to broaden service in the area.
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Multnomah County Library has two neighborhood libraries in the East Portland area: the Midland library and the Rockwood library. Each library serves a population of about 74,000 within a 2-mile radius, with the two facilities representing 21% of the library system’s total square footage. These two libraries have 20% of the system’s library cardholders and 63% of the target language cardholders (Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, and Chinese). During 2009-10, over 13,000 people attended story times; almost 23,000 people attended programs for children, teens, and families; and 13,000 people attended target language programs. The free meeting rooms were used by over 600 groups. Not all services take place within the library buildings. A couple of examples: story times were also held in local childcare centers and agencies such as WIC, while Books 2 U book talkers made regular visits to local targeted schools to increase kids’ motivation to read. Due to the current economic situation, the library’s funding limitations, and the need to provide fiscally sustainable services, Multnomah County Library will not be adding any new facilities in the foreseeable future to the East Portland area or anywhere else in Multnomah County. The library’s goal is to continue to maintain the current number of library locations, open hours, and services throughout Multnomah County during these difficult times.