August 11, 2018 Press Release:
Click to read: East Jefferson Rotary Announces Grants to Groups Supporting Chimacum Schools
Chimacum Heritage Newsletter
The Heritage Newsletter is published by Chimacum High School students three times per year, Fall, Winter, and Spring. Each article showcases farms in the Chimacum and greater area.
Click Heritage to read about your local farm community.
Chimacum Schools Matter ~ District Newsletters by Sandy Hershelman
Thank you, Sandy, for your dedication to sharing our good news!
Click on the quarterly links below to view our most recent newsletters:
(Click the link above to read the entire article, which show cases two Chimacum High School instructors.)
We're back in action!
The Jefferson Farm to School Coalition is back, with a new name, a new mission, and a new set of projects!
During our first incarnation you helped us launch Farm-to-Cafeteria and School Gardens programs in Quilcene and Port Townsend. Our dedicated group of core volunteers, visionary school partners, and wonderfully supportive community made real change for students in those schools.
Chimacum wasn't quite ready to tackle those projects at the time, but they are now! So we recently re-launched as the Community Wellness Project, with a new board of directors and a mission to cultivate the health, resiliency, and wellness of our Jefferson County students and families.
While we continue to cultivate wellness in all of our schools, we are currently focused on supporting Chimacum as they embark on this process. CWP is doing this by bringing extra capacity, community organizing, volunteer coordination, and fundraising so that they can build programs that will help meet their wellness goals.
Once again we'll need your help, enthusiasm, and energy to accomplish great things. Read on to learn more about what we're up to and how you can get involved!
Port Ludlow Voice
READ to ROVER
by Barbara Berthiaume, Contributing Writer
Kids, dogs, and a good book are a great combination according to researchers in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California in Davis. “The dogs, in contrast to a human, don’t judge the individual, aren’t grading the individual and hopefully that allows the children to build some confidence in their reading skills,” said Martin Smith, a veterinary school science educator and lead researcher on the study. It has been recognized anecdotally that children become better readers when they regularly read aloud to dogs, and many animal organizations and libraries around the country have developed reading programs that pair up kids and dogs. One such program is Reading with Rover, based in Redmond, Wa. that started out as a community-based volunteer literacy program in the schools, bookstores and libraries of Puget Sound area of Washington State. Our own local program is READ to ROVER serving 3 school districts in western Jefferson County. It is affiliated with a local non-profit organization, the Olympic Mountain Pet Pals, (ompetpals.org).
Kim Pratt and Carla Ellis collaborated to start the READ to ROVER program at the Chimacum Creek Primary School ten years ago and there are now 16 volunteers who faithfully bring their dogs each Friday so first and second graders can read with Rover. Carla coordinates all of the volunteer schedules while Kim supervises the program in the school.
All dogs are evaluated and tested for temperament and disposition by Georgia Towle, owner of the Lucky Dog Training Center. Dogs who pass the evaluation, which is an extended form of the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen test, are considered therapy dogs. These dogs and their handlers are trained and tested to partner with agencies such as schools and work with specific populations to provide support. Therapy dogs differ from service dogs as service dogs have legal rights in public places and are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.
Volunteers don red t-shirts identifying them as part of the READ to ROVER Program. Many report that their dogs get so excited as they know they are going to school and be with kids. Students rotate every 15 minutes and have the undivided attention of Rover. Many students develop relationships with dogs and their owners and volunteers note that they are amazed at the acceleration of reading skills over a year.
Students are trained how to interact with the dogs, how to feed them treats, and learn dog etiquette as well. Cost of the program includes back supported chairs for volunteers; t-shirts for the kids, dog treats and related supplies come from community businesses, local realtors, and the Friends of Chimacum Foundation. If anyone is interested in knowing more about this program, contact Carla Ellis at (360) 385-3950 or email@example.com.