Mentoring opportunities


ASPIRE (Access to Student Assistance Programs In Reach of Everyone) is a program that brings together students, school staff, community volunteers and parents to help students overcome obstacles to their continuing education.

Volunteer mentors, who are trained by the high school staff, provide advising, resources, and encouragement to help students overcome barriers to future career plans.

For more information contact the Summit Career Center, 541-387-5034.

Big Brothers-Big Sisters of the Columbia Gorge

Every child can be more successful when they have caring adults in their life in addition to their parents. BBBS identifies children who would benefit most from having an additional role model in their lives.

Children with a mentor are more likely to have the self-confidence they need to walk away from risky behaviors and make more positive, healthy choices.

Volunteers are carefully screened by trained staff to ensure safe mentoring friendships and provide training, support, resources and activities for the volunteers, children and families.

If you would enjoy spending about 8 hours a month being a friend to a child, you can be a mentor! No special skills required. Your support can help children have higher aspirations, gain greater confidence and achieve educational success.

Volunteer adult mentors, 18 and over, are matched with children ages 6-14. They spend two hours together each week enjoying fun activities like building a bird house, baking cookies or a going for a hike!

For more information in Hood River and Klickitat counties, call 541-436-0309 or 541-490-9979 (cell), email or visit

Community Education

Do you have special talents or skills you would like to share? Hood River Community Education is putting together its spring/summer course catalog, and is looking for people interested in instructing a class for the community and surrounding Gorge area.

Classes may be held at the instructor’s own facility, or at a school location. Instructors set the class fee and determine the optimum number of students for each class.

The deadline to be included in the spring/summer course catalog is Feb. 15.

Information and forms needed to complete and return are available through Community Ed; either stop by the office at 1009 Eugene St. or visit

Mentor for Success

Mentor For Success, a program of The Next Door, provides caring, trained adult mentors to at-risk teens in Hood River and Wasco counties, to support their successful transition to adulthood.

The mentoring process helps prepare youths for the challenges of being on their own by providing a strong role model, a trusting relationship with an adult and greater connections to the community.

Mentor and mentee get to know each other by planning and sharing fun activities like hiking, making pizza or attending a local event, slowly building a relationship of trust and support.

The mentor helps the teen identify and build upon his assets, connect with resources in his community, envision a viable future, and learn skills to support his coming independence.

Mentors commit to spending at least 10 hours a month with their mentees, for a minimum of one year. Mentors are carefully screened and trained, and then matched with a teen based on his/her interests and needs.

For more information email, or call 541-991-8091. Applications may be downloaded at www.mentor4

There will be a new mentor training Saturday, Feb. 16, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Hood River.

Project Invent

Though currently on hiatus, Project Invent is a concept program for middle school students developed by Holly Higdon-Wood and Wendy Maitlen in 2011. Its goals in the first year were to implement a program and curriculum for the four middle schools in the Mid-Columbia region; two states, three counties, in the 2011-12 school year; and to build scalable national curriculum for middle schools that incorporates STREAM learning concepts: science, technology, reading, engineering, art and math.

The program sought to develop a close network of professional mentors from the larger community, including engineers, designers, scientists, etc., who were willing to meet with students.

Those same professional mentors would be welcome to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with students in Gorge Discovery School, a new charter school co-founded by Higdon-Wood in the last year. The school uses local heritage, culture, ecology, landscapes, opportunities, and experiences as a foundation for the study of language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and other subjects.

For more information on Project Invent visit or email or For more information about Gorge Discovery School visit To volunteer as a mentor, contact Aaron Morehouse at 541-436-0707 or amorehouse@gorgedisovery

SMART (Start Making A Reader Today)

Research proves that shared book reading and the availability of books in the home during a child’s first, formative years are the strongest predictors of early literacy skills. SMART provides both.

The intention of SMART is to provide a literacy experience that entices children into books and reading, supports children’s efforts to learn to read and celebrates their successes. The SMART program complements reading curriculum and instruction and is intended to build confident, lifelong readers who enjoy reading and use it as a tool for learning.

The program concept is simple: Pair an adult volunteer with children for two, one-on-one 30-minute reading sessions. Children read with two different volunteers each week for seven months, totaling up to 28 hours of individual volunteer attention. Volunteers model the joy of reading, while supporting the child’s efforts to read independently.

To learn more about SMART, visit or call 877-598-4633. To volunteer, call your local elementary school and find out the site coordinator for your area.

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Latest video:

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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