Next Door Inc. announces family photo contest

To celebrate “Oregon Parenting Education Week,” May 19-25, the Columbia Gorge Parenting Education Program of The Next Door is having a photo contest.

The agency is seeking photos of children from birth to 6 years interacting with an adult in a healthy activity. Activities can include a family outing, playing, eating, story time, making a craft, playing at a park, or any other healthy adult and child interaction.


Download an entry form at:

All photos must be in JPG format, with a minimum of 4 megapixels.

Deadline to enter is May 15.

Parenting Education Coordinator Nancy Johanson Paul said, “With so many great photographers, wonderful kids, creative parents and so many healthy things to do, I can hardly wait to see the photos.”

Plan to submit photos by May 15. Photos can include a parent, grandparent, child care provider, preschool teacher, or other adult. Everyone who submits a photo will receive a toy or book. Eight photos will be chosen for a community photo display, and each of those photographers will receive a gift certificate from Klindt’s Booksellers or G.Willikers Toy Store.

Photos must show an adult and a child age zero to six years interacting together. All photos must be in JPG format, with a minimum of 4 megapixels. Download an entry form at

The Columbia Gorge Parenting Education Program of Wasco and Hood River Counties would like to call attention to the importance of skilled and caring parents, grandparents, foster parents, and child care providers in the lives of children.

Parenting education helps parents and caregivers learn how to best support their child’s development and promote the child’s success in school and life. In parenting classes, parents learn to have realistic expectations for themselves and for their children. Improved knowledge of positive parenting practices and normal child development encourages loving and skilled parenting, which helps ensure the child’s well-being.

Columbia Gorge Parenting Education is a program of The Next Door, a local nonprofit whose mission is opening doors to new possibilities by strengthening children and families and improving communities. Staff members work with thousands of people in the Columbia Gorge who are striving; to grow up strong, to stay far from trouble, to be the best parents they can be, and even to learn a sustainable way to have healthy food for their families.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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