Corvallis Parents: Dog Day Reading, School’s Back, Free Backpacks, New Parent Classes, Local Vaccine Events

The Dog Days of Summer are still upon us, meaning, of course, that there’s still time to get your child over to the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library to read to a dog. 

The library offers this program to give new readers a safe and kind audience to build confidence in reading out loud. So check out the library’s events calendar to find a slot and get your kiddo reading to a doggo. 

Get ready for school to return:  

The first day of the new school year for Alsea is Monday, Aug. 22. 

The first day of the new school year for Philomath and Blodgett schools is Tuesday, Sept. 6. 

The first day of the new school year for Corvallis and Monroe is Wednesday, Sept. 7.   

For Corvallis schools, the schedules for returning to school for the 2022-23 year have begun to shape up. On Monday, Aug. 29, the school staff will return to work. Happening that week, we’ll see a District Rally on Aug. 29 from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at Crescent Valley High School, located at 1400 NW Buchanan Ave. From 10:30 a.m. on through the end of that day at 3:00 p.m. will be Staff Prep time.  

From the Superintendent’s report, dated Aug. 11, 2022: “During the 2016-17 school your CSD took steps to eliminate class fees and required school supplies. As we continue removing costs and increasing access, CSD will eliminate athletic fees for our middle and high school students for the upcoming school year. I believe that by eliminating barriers, more students will have the opportunity to participate, and I am excited to announce this positive change.”  

This year, Corvallis High School will begin offering Arabic as a World Language and Linus Pauling Middle School will offer Arabic in their elective wheel. The Superintendent sees this as an exciting new expansion to the students.   

On Aug. 4, Corvallis Schools held a job fair with approximately 20 candidates being identified as possible new hires for the school district.   

School Supplies: For Corvallis parents worrying about the expense of school supplies, rejoice. The Corvallis School District handles the supplies, making sure all students can afford to fully participate in class activities.  

For other school districts, every year the Benton County Sheriff’s office donates supplies paid for from their own pockets. Volunteers, staff, and the Sheriff Deputies go out with the money they’ve collected to purchase schoolroom needs – notebooks to pencils, crayons to backpacks – and bring them to the Sheriff’s Briefing Room. 

These school supplies are distributed to schools in Alsea, Blodgett, Kings Valley, and Monroe. These schools distribute the supplies between the students and teachers. 

There’s always more need out there, so the Vina Moses Center also steps up. Each year, Vina Moses provide about 600 Benton County children with school basics like backpacks, shoes, clothes, water bottles, and supplies. For information on signing up for these items, see the Vina Moses Center website. 

Also out there getting kids ready for the school year by supplying backpacks and other supplies is the Linn Benton NAACP. Their first-come-first-served program doesn’t ask for income verification and is open to anyone. This program is sponsored by the “women of color alumnae from Kappa Chapter at Oregon State University and Upsilon Chapter at the University of Oregon.” To sign up for a backpack, follow this link. 

Newborns Don’t Come with User Guides: The first months with a newborn can be a lot more of a challenge than many think. The Old Mill Center works with the state to provide in-home learning for new and expecting parents to get them through those tough times.  

This is a free and voluntary program where parents can ask for some prejudice-free advice to determine the best parenting plan for them. Trained staff from Old Mill Center will come to your home weekly for anywhere from six months to three years – although visits can be virtual for those still concerned about the pandemic. These volunteers are trained to consider parenting ideals, personal goals, and family strengths as they assist new parents through those first months or years of a child’s life.  

This is part of a statewide effort to help new parents called Healthy Families Oregon. The original idea for this program comes from Healthy Families America as a means of helping to prevent child abuse.   

Learn more about the Old Mill Center’s program here. Or call them at 541-757-8068.  

Live and Learn Classes at LBCC: Linn-Benton Community College also has a few tricks up their sleeves for new parents.   

LBCC has a series of “Live and Learn” classes that take parents from the baby stage, through wobbling and toddling, and on to preschool. This series helps folks learn about how to be a parent while letting them meet other parents in the area and giving everyone a chance to learn and play with their kids. You can find out more about these classes here.  

Benton County Vaccine Events: We all hate to have to push needles in our kids, but we’d hate it more to have the kiddos get sick. That being said, the Covid vaccines are now available for kids six-months to 11-years-old.   

Here’s a list of local vaccine clinics with no appointments required and open to all children regardless of residency:  

In Philomath – Friday, Aug. 26 from 4:00-7:00 p.m., at Clemens Primary School Cafeteria, 535 S 19th St.    

In Monroe – Saturday, Aug. 27 from 1:00-5:00 p.m., at Monroe High School Commons, 365 N 5th St.  

In Corvallis – Sunday, Aug. 28 from 1:00-5:00 p.m., at the Boys and Girls Club of Corvallis, 1112 NW Circle Blvd.  

If you attend one of these events, free test kits will be available. Keep up on future vaccination events in Benton County here.  

By Sally K Lehman 

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