Community Partnerships Critical to Youth Preparation for College or Vocational Careers…

by | May 3, 2015


Brunswick Community College has partnered with the local school system…Jumpstart!

Kids get a head start for college and jobs… Quote from this website…Click highlighted text for more…

Oregon Coast Community College (OCCC) and Lincoln County School District (LCSD)…click highlighted text for more…

#3: Cooperative Innovative High School Programs (Early College High School)

“Cooperative Innovative High School Programs are located on college campuses, enroll 100 or fewer students per grade level, and provide opportunities for students to complete an associate degree program or earn up to two years of college credit within five years are defined as Cooperative Innovative High School Programs. Eligibility requirements for Cooperative Innovative High School Programs are established jointly by local boards of education and local boards of trustees in accordance with G.S. 115C-238.50.”



Outcomes…click for larger view…

The Power of After-School Programs…

OUR MISSION: Provide comprehensive after-school programs that keep children safe and help them succeed in school and in life.


Childrens Aid Society…After-School Programs…

After-School Facts… Click to open this informative fact sheet…


Neighbors for Kids “Kids Zone” Depoe Bay, Oregon.. Click highlighted text for more…


I was clearly a disadvantaged kid back in 1963, having grown up in a severely toxic and unstable home culture…  My father was a retired US Navy WWII and Korean War combat veteran who struggled in life after war…and our family did not fair so well either.  I was lucky to have had the opportunity to join the US Navy at age 17 with my father’s blessing.  The US Navy experience turned out to be a life saver for me as a challenged young man who was doing poorly in HS.  My family experience so long ago was not unlike tens of thousands of families in 21st Century America.   Kids from troubled homes and neighborhoods living in distressed areas need an extra edge from local community partnerships that provide early child education, after-school programs, and early college head start opportunities.

We have made significant progress in Lincoln County Oregon but need to do more to strengthen public private partnerships to sustain programs that address the whole child as a community team.  The public school system struggles to keep kids in HS with a disappointing graduation rate.  Stronger partnerships, including investment,  and sustainability of early childhood, after-school and early college HS programs are critical to the future of public and private education.  All of these programs are challenged even with support from the 21st Century Community Learning Center, a federal grant administered by the Lincoln County School District (LCSD); success of local after-school programs similar to Neighbors for Kids, and a promising Oregon Coast Community College (OCCC) system.

Why do we struggle as a community to sustain educational programs so vital to our children and families, especially America as a whole?  In my 10 years living in Depoe Bay, Oregon, serving as a board member for Neighbors for Kids, including extensive community service outreach; and now city councilor, we are still figuring out how to work together as a community with common goals.  The “silo” mentality of going it alone has been a persistent barrier and obstacle difficult to overcome even though progress is apparent.  The trust in each other and a global view of outcomes continues to be a dream yet to be realized because we live in a community culture that lacks innovation, entrepreneurship, and empowerment.  Simply stated we come up short on effective leadership and community building.  Yes, we do have the makings of “kindred spirits” in isolated circumstances, but we have yet to make the leap of faith that makes a difference.  It is easy to cross county boarders and observe 21st Century progress in communities everywhere.  The Salem-Keizer School District is an example, including the Salem-Keizer Education Foundation.  We can do all this creative and innovative stuff in Lincoln County Oregon too!  The good news is we are close to a break-out cultural change.  We just need a good kick in the rear to finish the last mile!

Steve Sparks

Vice Chair, Neighbors for Kids and Depoe Bay City Councilor

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
View all posts by stevesparks →

You might also like

Translate »